The responsibility of the Tax Department is to value all taxable property in the County. The total value of all the property in the county is called the tax base. Each county agency or department submits an annual operating budget to the county manager. The county manager submits a recommended total budget to the county commissioners for their consideration. In June, the Board of Commissioners reviews the budget, conducting public hearings to get residents' input. By the end of June, the commissioners adopt the budget. The budget is divided by the tax base value to determine a tax rate. The tax rate is based on amounts per each $100 in value. Of course this process is not as simple as it sounds; many laborious hours are spent analyzing the budgets and county programs to arrive at a budget that will provide the most cost efficient services to Buncombe County.
A similar process is completed for each municipality and fire district. The whole process is usually completed by the end of June and the county commissioners and town boards establish new tax rates in July. Once the tax rates are established, taxpayers receive a consolidated tax bill, usually in August, which includes Buncombe County, fire district, Asheville Schools, City of Asheville, Town of Black Mountain, Town of Montreat, or the Town of Woodfin, depending on the location of the property.