Nobody’s Claiming Revaluation is Super

I hope no one has misunderstood my feelings toward the property revaluation.
Just because I think the revaluation was done properly and honestly does not mean I think it is wonderful. I’m coming to realize more everyday just how sad this whole thing might turn out to be. It became even more clear Thursday night at the meeting to discuss the matter in Banner Elk. And, surprisingly enough, some of my understanding was helped along by the same Fliman Anderson about whom I have had very little nice to say in months past.

It is true that many long-time residents of Avery County are going to suffer because their neighbors have sold out to “outsiders” who have moved into the county and purchased the neighbors’ land for a high price. The tax assessor is forced to use this information to assign a correct value to property. It’s terrible when this hurts the little man, but it’s the law.
There are exemptions that are built into the system in an attempt to protect the farmers and the elderly, if you fall into these categories, you should be familiar with these exemptions. For everyone else, there is a painful, yet simple, solution.
Suck it up, tough it out, and do the best we can.
I have said time and again that we have to count on a lower tax rate. The concern there is whether they will make it low enough. I think they can get it below 40 cents on the hundred. It means paying more, but I don’t think it is going to make it impossible for the little guy to keep his land. The fear then becomes the potential for a yearly increase in the rate that would make it harder and harder every year. I know it is a real concern, and all I can say is that I will help to fight that in the future.
At the meeting in Banner Elk, Jack Anderson brought up the point that the people that come in and put a lot of money into making their particular piece of property more attractive and valuable should not affect the value of the next door neighbor’s land. Absolutely right Jack, you can cut this out and put it on your wall. I agree with you. I sincerely hope that the tax assessor’s office agrees with us.
Now with that scary bit out of the way, let me get to the Monday night meeting of the Property Owners’ Association. Anyone there must be coming to the realization that it is time to stick a fork in this group, it’s done. The only people who had a good time at Monday night’s boredomfest were Larry Houston and Gerard Benfield.

Clay got to get up front and holler like he likes to do, including one frightening point when he let out a gutteral shout begging the 40 people there to vote against the commissioners that he doesn’t like. Ron, on the other hand, sounded good as he used the forum to launch into a campaign speech asking for the group’s few dozen votes in his campaign for the Board. And look, he just got a little bit more free publicity.

One voice was curiously, and I must admit, disappointingly, quiet. What happened Mr. Laws? You must have been able to spot me in that crowd. I am willing to accept a truce if that is what this is. We were able to sit one seat away from one another in Banner Elk and not scrap, maybe we’re growing. Maybe we could even be friends . . . someday.