July 24, 2001
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held a work session on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 6:00 PM in the Agriculture Extension Learning Center in the Administration Building, Taylorsville, North Carolina.
Luther Stocks, Tax Administrator, reviewed the Planning Calendar Activity Descriptions which included the following:
Discussion of Revaluation Cycle
The Board discussed the current 8-year revaluation cycle which is the maximum mandatory cycle set by the State. Commissioner Harbinson inquired about the cycles of surrounding counties. Mr. Stocks and Ron McCarthy informed Commissioner Harbinson that most NC counties were on a 4-year revaluation cycle and stated that some western counties still operated on an 8-year revaluation cycle.
Commissioner Harbinson stated that he would like to set the revaluation cycle to occur during non-election years. Commissioner Watts agreed and stated that the Board had discussed setting the next revaluation to occur in 5 years and then again in 4 years which would begin the 4-year revaluation cycle.
Commissioner Robertson asked if there would be an advantage to holding the next revaluation in 3 years instead of 5 years from now. Mr. McCarthy responded that 3 years would be too soon to hold another revaluation.
Commissioner Watts asked what steps would need to be taken to change the revaluation cycle from and 8-year cycle to a 4-year cycle. Mr. McCarthy responded the Board needed to pass a resolution in favor of the cycle change and then send the resolution to the General Assembly to be passed.
Additional Questions and Comments
Mr. Stocks stated that the expected property value increase for Alexander County was approximately 40 %.
Commissioner Watts asked how many parcels of land were to be appraised in the county. Mr. Stocks responded that there were 22,000 parcels of land in Alexander County. Commissioner Watts also asked how many appeals were expected. Mr. McCarthy responded that staff expected 10 % to 15 % of taxpayers to appeal and explained that normally there are not as many appeals during a shorter revaluation cycle. Commissioner Harbinson agreed stating that there would be less "sticker shock".
Commissioner Hammer asked if minor errors could be resolved without an appeal such as an appraisal notice sent to the wrong property owner. Commissioner Hammer asked if the person would be able to come to the Tax Office and explain that they no longer owned the property without having to appeal. Mr. Stocks stated that they would be able to do so.
Commissioner Harbinson asked if the new GIS system had helped with the revaluation process. Mr. McCarthy responded that the GIS system had been a big help and stated that staff had used the new maps to help identify certain parcels.
Commissioner Hammer inquired about the Board of Equalization and Review members. Mr. Stocks stated that there would be 5 members on the Board of Equalization and Review. Mr. Stocks explained that informal hearings would be scheduled for taxpayers to discuss their values with an appraiser. If there is no conclusion reached at the informal hearing, a formal hearing would be scheduled with the Board of Equalization and Review for taxpayers to appeal their assessed value.
Mr. McCarthy suggested that an appraisal manual be placed at the Administration Office and at the Tax Office. Commissioner Harbinson suggested placing an appraisal manual at the Library. Mr. McCarthy disagreed and explained that the Library staff would not be able to answer questions regarding the information included in the appraisal manuals. Commissioner Harbinson accepted Mr. McCarthys comment.
Mr. Stocks also presented a calendar of events for the scheduling of values. A brief discussion was held regarding the calendar and it was decided that the Schedule of Values would be presented to the Board at the August 7, 2001 Commissioners Meeting. The public hearing will be held at the September 11, 2001 Commissioners Meeting when the Board will consider the Schedule of Values.
Rick French, County Manager, discussed the Governors Award which is presented to 5 individuals per county each year for outstanding volunteer services. Mr. French explained that the Cooperative Extension had in the past handled the details of this award. However, Mr. French informed the Board that the State had requested that each NC county pay $20 per recipient of the Governors Award and suggested that each commissioner choose a recipient and possibly pay $20 for that recipient. After discussion, the Board agreed each commissioner would choose a recipient and that the $100 could be taken from county funds.
Commissioner Robertson requested a list of past recipients. The Clerk to the Board was instructed to obtain the list for the Board.
Mr. French stated that each commissioner should have a recipient by the August 7, 2001 Commissioners Meeting. Commissioner Harbinson stated that he would nominate the Redneck Club at the meeting.
UPDATE ON ANIMAL SHELTER
Commissioner Robertson stated that he had visited the site for the new animal shelter on Friday, July 20, 2001 and gave the following suggestions to the Board:
Commissioner Robertson stated that this would save approximately $50,000 to $70,000 on the project. Commissioner Harbinson suggested discussing these suggestions with Dr. David Linzey. Commissioner Robertson stated that he had spoken with Dr. Linzey regarding his suggestions.
Mr. French explained that the countys bookmobile needed to be replaced and explained that Pender County was accepting bids at the end of the month for their bookmobile. After discussion, the Board decided not to bid on the Pender County bookmobile due to its high mileage and poor conditions.
There being no further business, Commissioner Watts made a motion to adjourn at 7:15 PM. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Joel C. Harbinson, Vice-Chairman Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board