Sampson County Property Owners Getting Tax Notices

Administrator says rates have increased

Sampson County taxpayers have begun receiving their property tax bills following the first revaluation since 2011. And it appears most will see some kind of an increase.

According to Sampson County Tax Administrator Jim Johnson, rates have gone up for all types of property. He estimates residential rates have increased anywhere from 5 to 10 percent, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“Land has seen an approximate 20 percent increase and commercial properties have increased 10 to 20 percent,” he said. “We had some properties have a reduction due to depreciation, such as doublewides.”

With those hikes, there was an increase in the overall tax base, according to Mr. Johnson. He expects there to be an overall increase in the real property tax base.

Because of the appeals process that began Thursday, the actual base could change.

“Overall we had a 5 percent increase in the real property tax base,” Mr. Johnson said. “Informal appeals begin (Thursday) followed by the Board of Equalization and Review hearings in May. So some value will be lost.”

This marks the first time taxpayers have seen changes to property tax values in nearly a decade, according to Mr. Johnson. During the same timeframe, he said, there’s not been a dramatic change.

“It was what was expected in that there hasn’t been a big change in the market from the previous evaluation in 2011,” he said. “We will finalize the tax base when appeals are over and all business and personal property has been (entered).”

For those who owe property taxes, the deadline to pay is Sept. 1. Taxpayers can file an appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review until the last scheduled date, which is May 30.

The first step is to seek an informal review by county tax administration staff. A review of this kind would normally be available if the assessed value of property had changed since the prior year, but due to the revaluation, property owners are encouraged to contact the Sampson County Tax Department to determine their eligibility for an informal appeal.

To seek an informal appeal, call 910-592-8146 or send a written request to Sampson County Tax Department, Attention: Real Estate Appeal, P.O. Box 1082, Clinton, NC 28329.

The next step would be to file a formal appeal with the equalization and review board. To begin the process, taxpayers should call the tax department and request an application. The application should be received by May 30. A hearing will be scheduled and taxpayers will be notified of the date and time to appear before the board.

If the taxpayer is still unhappy with the results, he or she may then file an appeal with the North Carolina Property Tax Commission. The commission is composed of five members, three appointed by the governor and one each by the lieutenant governor and the state House speaker.

Taxpayers have 30 days to file an appeal with the N.C. Tax Commission following the mailing of the equalization and review board’s decision. Appeals for decisions made by the commission are to the Court of Appeals and are based on the record made at the commission hearing.

-Dunn Daily Record