The Anson County Tax Assessor's Office is required to reappraise real property at least every eight years. The Anson County Board of Commissioners has chosen to authorize reappraisals every eight years. Our current reappraisal became effective on January 1, 2010.
Property values change over time and must be adjusted periodically to maintain balance and equity. Real property values usually increase over time; however, not all properties increase at the same rate. Some properties actually decrease in value. Therefore, a reappraisal is a re-equalization process with market value appraisals and equitable valuations as the primary goals.
The county is divided into appraisal "neighborhoods." These neighborhoods are homogeneous in that the parcels within the neighborhoods share many common characteristics and are affected by similar influences. In conducting a reappraisal, the appraisal staff reviews all recent sales of real property which have occurred within each neighborhood. This massive analysis of recent sales culminates in a uniform schedule of values which is applied to each parcel of real property in Anson County. The purpose of the uniform schedule is to insure equity in valuations.
It would not be difficult to simply appraise a given property at its most recent sale price. This is not practical because all sales are not "arm's-length" transactions. Sales between family members, related corporations, gifts, etc. do not usually represent market value. Sale prices are also influenced by the needs and compulsions of buyers and sellers. For example, a home may sell for less than its market value because the seller is motivated by a sudden job transfer. Conversely, a home may sell for a higher amount to a new resident moving in from a region where home values are much higher. Analyzing all recent sales allows the Tax Assessor's Office to account for unusual circumstances such as those described above and develop a uniform schedule of values. The application of the schedule of values may not exactly match every recent sale price; however, the schedule insures that each parcel of real property will be treated equitably.
Anson County and the municipalities within the county adopt a budget each year. The tax rate is determined primarily by the budgetary needs of the local government. Typically each local unit of government reviews the budget requests of their departments, determines how much revenue is available from sources other than the property tax, and then determines how much revenue is necessary from property taxes to balance the budget. In a reappraisal year the budget process remains unchanged; however, since the tax base (the total amount of taxable value) increases in a reappraisal, tax rates are generally lowered to adjust for the higher base. Unusual situations such as bond referendums or special projects may have an impact on any potential adjustment in the tax rate.
Real property valuations may be appealed to the Anson County Board of Equalization and Review. The Board begins its deliberations in April and continues until all appeals have been heard. Appeal forms may be obtained from the Tax Assessor's Office or online. Decisions of the Board of Equalization and Review may be appealed to the Property Tax Commission; from there to the Court of Appeals; and finally to the North Carolina Supreme Court.