Pitt County property tax revaluation leave some with sticker shock

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Some homeowners in Pitt County say they’re not happy to learn their home has increased in value, which might mean higher property taxes.

The Pitt County Tax Administration says they sent out new reappraisal letters last Monday and many just received them.

Lawrence Bristow says he was blindsided with his new figures and he and his wife are concerned about their financial future.

“I don’t know what to do, to tell you the truth. I’m a veteran and I’m on disability. I’m not in bad a shape as a lot of people, but it just worries me now about the people that are scraping by, paycheck to paycheck” says Bristow.

The reevaluation process updates the value of all real property by determining the market value as of January 1st.

Russell Hill with the Pitt County Tax Administration says most residents in the county were impacted.

“We had about less than 9,000 parcels whose values either stayed the same or went down, that’s a little less than 12% of the overall county and the vast majority 62% went up over 40%” says Hill.

While the county says most re-evaluations sent out have higher property values, that doesn’t automatically translate into higher taxes.

It will now be up to towns, cities, and county commissioners to decide if they lower tax rates to make the reappraisal revenue neutral, meaning the amount paid actually in taxes stays at the same, even though the value of the property itself changed. Those decisions will be made before tax bills come out later this year.

Bristow says he’s depending on those decision makers to help other homeowners like him.

“Think about the people that can’t make it, you know cut them some slack, what else can I say, you’re talking to the wind sometimes when you talk to politicians” says Bristow.

Tax officials say the Board of Commissioners sets the tax rate annually based upon the budgetary requirements of the county.

If you disagree with the new value, you can submit an informal appeal form within 30 days of notice date.