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Buckle Up: New Mecklenburg Property Values Went In Mail Wednesday

Steve Harrison
Mecklenburg assessor Ken Joyner said the value of commercial property in Mecklenburg County increased by 77 percent since 2011.

Mecklenburg County mailed 400,000 notices to property owners Wednesday, giving them their new property valuation for 2019.

The numbers from this year’s revaluation show how strong the county’s real estate market has been – and still is.

Since the last countywide reval eight years ago, the average increase for both residential and commercial property is 54 percent. Commercial property has been even stronger, with a 77 percent increase, compared to 43 percent for residential property.

Related: Property Values Likely To Increase With Latest Revaluation

"Back in 2011 the county was going through a recession, and at that point, values were not only declining in the last few years of that eight-year cycle, but it continued on until early 2013," said Mecklenburg assessor Ken Joyner. "Since that time our market has recovered. We have gone past those pre-recession levels."

But Joyner says those surging values don't necessarily mean you will pay more in property taxes.

Mecklenburg Commissioners and the Charlotte City Council will set new tax rates, and they will likely lower their tax rates, at least somewhat. By law, they must consider a revenue-neutral tax rate that would bring in the same amount of money as last year.

The county's municipalities will also set their own tax rates.

A homeowner who sees their home increase in value by 20 percent could actually have a smaller tax bill this year than in 2018.

"There is definitely a possibility depending on how your property falls around those averages," Joyner said. "We could see people who pay less in 2019."

But many commercial property owners will pay more. Joyner said areas like uptown, SouthPark and Ballantyne have seen large jumps in sale values.

And apartment complexes are also considered commercial property. With the city and county leaders focused on creating more affordable housing, the higher values could hurt those efforts if apartment owners increase rents to pay higher property tax bills.

Mecklenburg Commissioners are holding a retreat in Greensboro this week, where they will talk about the reval and tax rate Thursday – as well as their budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins in July. The Charlotte City Council will do the same thing in Raleigh next week.

For the elected officials, there is likely to be a debate over how far to roll back tax rates – versus how much new money can be raised for things like schools and parks.

This is the first reval since the flawed 2011 revaluation, which led to the county giving tens of millions of dollars in refunds.

Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.