What you really want to know when new property values arrive in the mail
Mailboxes across Macon County were blanketed with new property value notices this week, the first countywide appraisal since 2007.
As you ripped open the envelope, there were probably two things on your mind:
• Has my property value gone up or down, and by how much?
• Will my property taxes go up or down as a result, and by how much?
But you won’t find the answers to either of these on your notice. It only gives your newly appraised value — your old value isn’t anywhere to be seen.
And it also doesn’t tell you what it all means come tax time, since that technically won’t be decided by county commissioners until June when they finalize the coming year’s budget.
But grab your notice, play along, and we’ll walk you through those burning questions.
Step 1: Go to gis2.maconnc.org/lightmap/maps/
Step 2: In the search bar, enter the parcel number from your property notice and hit search.
Step 3: When it comes up, click the highlighted “PIN” number among the data field on the left-hand side.
Step 4: It brings up your property card, but value shown here may have already rolled over to the new one. To see what your old value was, click on “2014 prop tax notice” in fine print at the bottom.
Step 5: Now find the number that says “real estate total value.” This is your old property value.
Step 6: Assuming your new value has gone down some, subtract your new real estate value from your old one. Then divide that number by your old property value, and multiply by 100.
Step 7: This is the percent your property value went down. But you’re not done yet. Just because your property value went down, doesn’t mean your taxes will go down.
Step 8: On average, property values went down 15 percent. So the county will likely hike the tax rate by 15 percent to make up the difference.
If your property value went down by more than 15 percent, your taxes will most likely go down. If your property went down by less than 15 percent, your taxes will most likely go up.