Bermuda Run: 7.12% of tax parcels brings in 14% of property tax revenues
Published 1:13 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2021
By Jim Buice
BERMUDA RUN – While learning more about property tax revaluation in last Tuesday night’s meeting, the town council also received good news about the local real estate market.
Brian Myers, tax administrator for Davie County, appeared before the board to share the process of updating real property values for the county and the town to reflect fair market value of Jan. 1.
Since taking over as mayor in 2019, Rick Cross has typically introduced various topics at the monthly meetings “to inform and educate us as this body and members of the community as they desire.”
Myers spoke to the county commissioners last month in a virtual setting but came before the council in a mask-required, socially distanced setting in town hall as he focused on the overall process while getting into more specifics regarding Bermuda Run.
Myers said that of the 25,067 parcels in Davie County, there are 1,796 parcels inside Bermuda Run’s city limits, which represent 7.12 percent of the parcels in the county but a larger 14 percent of the actual tax base.
“What is driving growth in Bermuda Run is the single-family and multi-family market,” Myers said, adding from 2017 to 2020 that 78 new homes were built along with five commercial structures and that the new multifamily apartments – Comet Bermuda Run – and Kinderton Village, with continuing residential growth, were two noteworthy areas.
When asked specifically about the impact of the luxury apartment complex, Myers said it has proven to be a great opportunity for the town and will impact the tax base in a positive way.
“With those apartments, you’ve got a gem and something that the rest of the county doesn’t have,” he said.
Myers pointed out that qualified sales in Bermuda Run continued an upward trajectory with 399 from 2013 to 2016 and 560 from 2017 to 2020.
While stating that the volume of the houses being built in Kinderton “is what’s driving the market in Bermuda Run,” Myers said comparing sales there with those in Bermuda Run West, Bermuda Run and Bermuda Village is different with the variety of dynamics in those areas.
He cited Bermuda Village as an example, saying it is unique because there are condos at numerous prices that might look the same but are not because some have been remodeled.
“The tax office does its due diligence to find out what’s going on with each sale, but it’s quite a large task,” Myers said. “We’ve done our best to reflect market value in Bermuda Village, but having said that, the appeal process will take of some of the questions we have in that area.”
Unlike a private appraisal and finding comps, Myers said that what the county is doing for tax purposes is using a mass appraisal “and not going for the top sale or the bottom sale but shooting for the median.”
Myers said that Davie County is on a four-year reappraisal cycle and that the goal isn’t to get “more revenue for the county or for the municipality” but to truly reflect fair market value, stating that property values actually went down 5.4 percent in 2013. Values were up 2.3 percent in 2017, and Myers projects values to be up between 6 percent and 8 percent in 2021.
He talked about the difference in the revaluation process for rural counties like Davie compared to its larger urban neighbor, Forsyth.
“In 2013 we did drop (just more than 5 percent), but one thing to point out is because we are rural for the most part, in Forsyth County in that downturn, they lost like between 15 to 25 percent of their tax base,” Myers said. “We’re not going to experience that here because we have a more stable tax base.”
Of course, last year’s coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the current housing market.
“The revaluation process is not just a 2020 process,” Myers said. “We look at sales from 2017 to 2020 and not chasing after those sales that happened in 2020. We’ve applied our schedule of values and are very aware of what’s driven the market. Right now, demand is high and inventory is low throughout the county. In Bermuda Run right now there’s 25 active agent listings, mostly in Bermuda Village. There’s no inventory. It’s definitely a seller’s market.”
Town Manager Lee Rollins pointed out Bermuda Run actually contracts for tax collection with Davie County.
“And as you seen from previous audits, we have one of the highest collection rates in the state,” Rollins said. “We appreciate the partnership with have with Brian and his team.”
New values were projected to be viewable on the Davie County website and mailed to property values in the middle of February.
In other highlights from last Tuesday night’s meeting, the council:
• Heard from Cross that this year’s annual planning sessions were broken into two sessions – Jan. 26 with an operational component focusing on the next two years, and Feb. 2 with a strategic focus beyond a two-year time horizon “digging into the Comp Plan” with an update coming in 2022.
• Approved a resolution recognizing the month of February as Black History Month in the Town of Bermuda Run.