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Buncombe Commissioners Hear Plan of Action for Property Assessment Department Based on Ad Hoc Reappraisal Committee Recommendations

a magnifying glass hovers over a house

Following a recommendation from the Ad Hoc Reappraisal Committee and an internal operational assessment, the Buncombe County Property Assessment Department shared a plan of action with the Board of Commissioners at its Oct. 18 meeting.

In a July 19 presentation to the Board, both the Ad Hoc Reappraisal Committee and Assessment staff recommended increasing the department’s education and outreach , and the County has developed a two-year comprehensive communications and engagement campaign to inform and engage the community. The County will partner with local realtors to provide assistance on the assessment and/or appeals process and evaluate the need for a community ambassador. As part of improved communications, staff is improving the accessibility, user experience, and navigation for the website. To view the proposed updates to the Buncombe County tax website and provide feedback, click here.   

The Ad Hoc Reappraisal Committee also recommended:

  • Increasing capacity in the Assessment Department
  • Developing assessment policies to optimize tax revenue
  • Enhancing permitting compliance

To enhance transparency staff also recommended improving assessment data and awareness around data accuracy.

In its action plan, the County outlined developing a process to correct the percentage of properties with incorrect attributes, and the Commissioners discussed using the existing contract with a lobbying firm to facilitate discussions with legislators about expanding eligibility for exemptions while identifying possible impacts to tax revenue.

While the Ad Hoc Reappraisal Committee discussed increasing the frequency of reappraisals, staff does not recommend that at this time due to an approximate cost of $1.4 million per reappraisal. Staff also could not identify a legal pathway to value short-term rentals differently, though they are undertaking steps to identify short-term rentals and complete an analysis to determine their impact on residential property valuations. Staff is currently pursuing an initiative to improve data on personal property assets for all rentals as well as contracting with S.A.S. Analytics to provide AI software solutions to enhance the accuracy of assessed property values.

To view the presentation to the Board of Commissioners, click here. To view all meetings and supplemental materials for the Ad Hoc Reappraisal Committee, click here.

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Updated Dec 07, 2022 12:46 PM
Published Oct 18, 2022 07:40 PM