Land Value ‘Correction’ Surprises Homeowners

It comes as no surprise to me, people are pissed about the arrogance of the county assessors in revaluing the land our houses sit on. According to them, their staff “placed emphasis on the review of land assessments to determine if they adequately reflected market value.” Coincidentally, this resulted in most assessments staying relatively steady compared to last year. Here’s the problem I have with this “emphasis”: there is no way the wood, metal, and drywall my house is made of dropped in value by $125k in a year. I do believe that the land value is probably accurate, now. But it bugs me that it went up all at once, rather than gradually over the course of the past three years, when it has stayed constant. If they had “equalized” the land and building values slowly over the course of three years, $40k at a time, a lot less people would be accusing them of cooking the books. Many of the Board of Supervisors agree.

Supervisor Jeff C. McKay (D-Lee) said he has asked County Attorney David P. Bobzien for an opinion on whether the board can challenge the tax department’s methodology and push for a reassessment of values. He said the agency is playing a questionable game of catch-up.
“It appears that we are behind in keeping up on raw land, and now to bury that, we depreciated people’s structures, all in one year,” he said.

I don’t envy their position. It’s a paradox: empty lots sell for nearly as much as existing homes on similar lots, but it would be nigh impossible to rebuild my home for the amount they say it is worth.
At any rate, regardless of their position, I’ve been researching recent home sales in my area, and I believe I have a legitimate appeal, regardless of their land emphasis. Thankfully, I have a wonderful tool in Zillow to help me in my efforts. The Irishman in me really does love a confrontation!