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Appeals


How is my property valued?
The Appraisal Office is responsible for assessing all real property located in Gaston County. A state-mandated revaluation of all real property must also be conducted at least once every eight years. The effective date for Gaston County’s last revaluation is January 01, 2015. Each year, building permits and listing forms are reviewed for new construction and additions to existing structures. The appraisal staff visits, measures, and assesses value for all improvements and changes to property in the county. They assist property owners and the public with questions and concerns about value. They are also responsible for processing appeals of value. Our staff appraisers currently use the schedule of values developed and approved for the January 01, 2015 revaluation to assign values.

Please contact our office at 704-862-6500 if you have any further questions.

Email Contacts: Kim.Moore-Craft@gastongov.com

Annual Listing Requirements for Real Estate
North Carolina General Statutes 105-303 and 105-308 cover listing requirements for real property owners. Each year during the month of January, real property owners must list with the Tax Assessor's Office information concerning any construction or improvements on or acquisition of separate rights in real property. Current listing forms are available in the Tax Assessor's Office and online. Failure to list is deemed "willful" by statute and is a Class 2 misdemeanor (refer to NC G.S. 105-308 for more information).

Appeals of Property Assessment
There is an appeal process to assist property owners in presenting their concerns about property valuation.

Real property appeals may be filed after January 1 until the adjournment of the Board of Equalization and Review (usually in May each year) or within 30 days of any value change notification with the Appraisal section in the Tax Assessor's Office. You may obtain a real estate appeal form here or contact our office to obtain one. All appeals will be reviewed by Gaston County appraisal staff.

Appeals that are not resolved by staff review will be scheduled to appear before the Gaston County Board of Equalization and Review after March 31, and if desired by the appellant, may appear before the NC State Property Tax Commission after the adjournment of the Board of Equalization and Review.

Should I appeal my value?

Appealable Issues versus Non-Appealable Issues

We take a "value snapshot" of the County as of January 1 each year. The effective date of the last revaluation was January 1, 2015. We appraise new construction; including remodeling, using the same appraisal manual and methods we used to appraise properties that were in existence for the 2015 Revaluation. This assures you that all Gaston County property owners are paying their fair share of annual tax dollars to the County and municipalities, and they are being assessed using the same standards.

The following information is considered unacceptable reasons for appealing value:

  • Your tax bill is too high or is higher than before.
  • You are retired and on a fixed income. (Contact the Tax Assessor's Office to see if you may qualify for Property Tax Relief).
  • Your property was annexed into the city.
  • Your neighbor's value is less than yours, but you refuse to identify which property you are referring to.
  • Actual construction cost, historic cost or insurance value.
  • Your house was damaged by fire, wind, water, etc., but the damage was repaired before the next January 1st.
  • Opinion of property after January 01, 2015.
  • Analysis of sales that occurred after December 31, 2014.
  • Information on non-qualified sales (short sales, Bank Foreclosures, or sales between family members).
  • You paid less for the property than the appraised value after January 01, 2015.

The last two reasons above are governed by North Carolina General Statute 105-287 which states, in part:

"...In a year in which a general reappraisal... is not made, the assessor may not increase or decrease the appraised value... to recognize a change in value caused by:

(1) Normal, physical depreciation of the improvements;
(2) Inflation, deflation, or other economic changes affecting the county in general...“

The following information is considered acceptable reasons for appealing value:

  • There is a listing of properties with similar design, age, condition, and square footage but with lower assessed values.
  • There are sales of highly similar properties that occurred before January 1, 2015, but the selling price is significantly lower than the assessed values.
  • Sales must be qualified arm’s length transactions being between willing buyers, willing seller, with no undue pressure or influence to buy or sell.
  • The condition of the property is diminished on January 1 of the current tax year due to wind, water, fire, and property damage that has not been repaired (you will need to supply proof of when the damage occurred, that the damage has not been repaired, and provide pictures or a report).
  • The land is not suitable for development due to denial for a septic permit, and a letter has been issued by the Health Department.
  • Environmental cleanup costs have been documented and are required for the property.
  • The burden of proof to show that the value is incorrect and substantially overstated is the responsibility of the property owner or their approved representative by NC General Statutes.

Applicable Forms:

Board of Equalization & Review Appeal Form - Real Estate Value Appeals may be submitted from January 1st of the calendar year until the Board of Equalization & Review adjourns (usually in May). Appeals may also be submitted within 30 days of any value change notice from this office.

Email contacts: Kim.Moore-Craft@gastongov.com

Formal Appeals Process

  1. After January 1st, the property owner completes the Board of Equalization & Review Appeal Form. The completed form, along with all supporting documentation attached, should be returned to the Tax Assessor's Office prior to April. According to North Carolina General Statutes, the burden of proof of a substantial overstatement of value falls on the taxpayer. The Statutes do not allow appeals to be based on current market values unless it is a revaluation year. Gaston County last conducted a revaluation in 2015. If you need more information on the methodology used to assess your property, please contact us at (704) 862-6500 and schedule an appointment.
  2. Adjustments to values will be made when possible on the basis of the evidence presented by information review prior to the Board of Equalization and Review (BE&R). If an acceptable value adjustment is not possible, an appointment and appearance are scheduled for the BE&R. The ruling is communicated to the appellant through the mail after the adjournment of the BE&R. Note: Formal appeals filed after the adjournment of the Board of Equalization and Review will be heard the following tax year.
  3. The property owner either accepts the ruling from the BE&R or has the option to further appeal to the NC State Property Tax Commission. To submit a formal appeal to the Property Tax Commission, the resident must appeal to the Property Tax Commission within 30 days of the notification from the Board of Equalization and Review.

Board of Equalization and Review
By law, the Board of Equalization & Review is a board comprised of the members of the Board of Gaston County Commissioners or a special board appointed by the Commission. Regardless of its makeup, the Board of Equalization and Review is an independent review body, distinct and separate from the tax office. This board is responsible for reviewing assessment appeals. In carrying out its responsibilities the board shall:

  • Examine and review the tax lists of the county for the current year and make any changes necessary to ensure that all taxable property is listed, appraised, and assessed as directed under the provisions of the Machinery Act.
  • List, appraise, and assess any taxable property omitted from the tax lists.
  • Correct any errors in the names and descriptions of taxable property.
  • Increase or decrease the appraised value of any property that in the board's opinion is below or above market value as required by G.S. 105-283.
  • See that any increase or decrease in the appraised value of real property is made under the provisions of G.S. 105-286, G.S. 105-287, and G.S. 105-317.
  • See that any increase or decrease in the appraised value of personal property is made under the provision of G.S. 105-317.1.
  • Notify any taxpayer at his last known address whenever the Board increases the appraised value of a taxpayer's property.
  • See that any action taken by the Board is placed in an appropriate order and that the order is entered in the minutes of the board.
  • Have the duty to hear appeals from taxpayers who own or control taxable property with regard to the listing or appraisal of their property or the property of other taxpayers.
  • Hear issues related to the application of penalties assessed on discovered property.

Please contact our office at 704-862-6500 if you have any further questions.
Email contacts: Kim.Moore-Craft@gastongov.com