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BR board learns about tax evaluations

BERMUDA RUN – The town council started out the new year by receiving an overview of the town’s tax valuations from Brian Myers, Davie tax administrator.

Myers did a breakdown of the areas of Bermuda Run and offered sales data, facts and figures, and the things that impact tax values.

In sales data last year for Bermuda Run, there were 117 qualified sales and 46 unqualified sales (for a total of 163). That followed 123 qualified sales and 32 unqualified sales (for a total of 155) in 2017.

Myers noted that there were 58 unqualified sales in 2016, 112 in 2015 and 107 in 2014.

“We are having less and less unqualified sales, and that’s good for the economy,” Myers said. “There’s less distressed sales.”

In 2017-2018, there were 45 commercial permits (with a value of $26,721,630) and 74 residential permits (with a value of $7,392,714).

Among some other facts, Myers showed property values exempt from taxes for the last three years – 2018 ($95,095,620), 2017 ($76,291,390) and 2016 ($58,041,201) – and said “a lot of that was attributed to the hospital.” Myers added that Wake Forest Baptist Health Davie Medical Center purchased four parcels in 2018 with a total value of $1,521,350.

He provided information on other areas, including the Kinderton subdivision, where using the 2017 schedule of values, Myers said he was seeking a bit of an uptick there but seeing mixed reviews with some houses selling for more than tax value and others selling for less.

“One of the things staff will be working on hard is to check our data in the tax office to see if we can figure out why some are selling for more and some selling for less,” said Myers, who added that the next tax revaluation will be in 2021. “One thing we do not do in the tax office is we do not chase a sale. If we cannot figure out as far as square footage and characteristics inside the home what is driving that sale in a positive fashion or a negative fashion, we’re not going to go in there and just start changing things. That can tend to cause more issues. Eventually, what we hope is once we send out values that the person will appeal, and we’ll have that opportunity to get it correct.”

Myers said that new homes in Kinderton are selling for more than tax value.

For subdivisions such as Bermuda Run West, James Way and Highlands, Myers said he is seeing activity in those locations with lots to be built out, especially in James Way.

“Newer homes sort of carry a different market, too,” he said. “When you talk Bermuda Run as a whole, some things are on upswing, some are remaining neutral and some things it depends on if the home has been remodeled or not.”

That’s the case in the older section of Bermuda Run.

“You’ve got remodeled homes and unremodeled homes,” Myers said. “The remodeled homes are selling for more and the unremodeled homes still selling for less than tax values. We saw those things in revaluation and are still seeing those things.”

Bermuda Village presents sort of an “atypical situation,” according to Mike Beck, Davie County property assessment manager who assisted Myers in the presentation.

“Finding comparable sales in the area or throughout the state is very difficult because a lot of those sales over there have a first right of refusal that Bermuda Village purchases those back and then they resale them,” Beck said. “We have guidelines by the Department of Revenue for what we can use as a qualified sale.”

Beck said that typically a sale back to the Village is disqualified, and the staff looks at what is being paid for from the Village to the new owner.

“Sales are extremely difficult because some are completely remodeled and some not,” he said. “We try to get information and do the best we can. My advice is if you have someone in there, have them appeal. Also, if a home is sold out of an estate, then according to the Department of Revenue, it’s not a qualified sale.”

Kinderton Commercial still has several parcels available and more development is possible, according to Myers. Also, a new apartment complex is coming to Bermuda Run, but it will be some time before the town realizes that substantial revenue increase because the tax office can only value whatever construction is complete each year as of Jan. 1.

Myers pointed out impacts to value included development, exemptions, exclusions (elderly, veteran, disabled), annexation, appeals, property deferments, builder inventory exclusion and property sales.

Mayor Ken Rethmeier said that overview of tax values in Bermuda Run provided by Myers and Beck was helpful.

“This is going to be very valuable to us when we go into our planning session,” Rethmeier said. “It will be good to be able to look at the entire town and see where the pockets of growth and development and where those areas that are not doing what they should be doing and how the town positions itself to support those areas that need some help.”

In the public comments portion of the meeting, Lance Featherngill expressed his thoughts about safety navigating the US.158 roundabout, saying he was almost involved in a couple of accidents, and there is a lot of support from others about concerns with the increased traffic. He would like for the town to revisit putting a traffic signal at that location.