HILLSBOROUGH- Orange County Commissioners voted on Tuesday to delay the next property revaluation, despite evidence that the housing market is on the rebound.
When commissioners voted last May to delay the next revaluation until 2015, it was because there were too few home sales in the county to provide accurate data on market values.
But Tax Administrator Dwane Brinson told the board Tuesday night that the market is on the mend.
“The quantity of sales is improving,” said Brinson. “In 2010 we had 1,236 qualified sales, in 2011 we had 995 qualified sales, and in 2012 we’re back up to 1,306 qualified sales.”
Still, he advised commissioners to delay the revaluation once again, this time until 2017, because assessed values and market values are so close right now that a reappraisal would be unlikely to yield new information.
“In my opinion, by the time we were to do a 2015 revaluation, tax assessments and market value would practically be one and the same, so we would have roughly no change in tax assessments,” Brinson told the board.
The board agreed, voting 6-1 to push the revaluation back two more years. Earl McKee cast the lone vote against the delay last year, and he did so again on Tuesday.
“We should have stayed on that four-year cycle,” said McKee. “To now again, one year later, move it back will further strengthen the perception that we are avoiding revaluation in order to avoid revaluing in a down market.”
By state law, the county must perform a revaluation every eight years. Prior to the real estate slump, the county had been operating on a four year schedule, with the last reassessment taking place in 2009. Commissioners agreed to reinstate the four year schedule after the 2017 revaluation.