Politics & Government

Number of successful appeals rises for Orange tax assessor

The Orange County tax office has received about 1,900 appeals on the county's 51,225 taxable properties. That's a 3.7 percent appeals rate.

In a typical year, Tax Assessor John Smith says his office adjusts 15 to 20 percent of assessments upon appeal. In a phone interview, Smith says this year that rate could be twice as high. He encourages people who think their property has been overvalued to contact the Tax Assessor's Office at 245-2100 or at the office located on the second floor of the Gateway Center, 228 S. Churton St. in Hillsborough.

"One thing that impresses me is the quality of the appeals," Smith says. "In the past we've gotten [people saying] 'It's too high' and nothing else." One of the reason for the increase in successful appeals, he says, is that properties were valued incorrectly in prior years and people have only come in now to challenge them.

We'll have more on tax revaluation Sunday in advance of Monday night's Orange Tax Revolt meeting at 7 p.m. in the Orange High Gym and the county commissioners' meeting the following night. Look for our story and columns by County Manager Laura Blackmon and Jim Postma, who asks if it's time for a Proposition 13 in North Carolina, in Sunday's Chapel Hill News.