'It's really ridiculous': Wake residents sound off on new tax assessments

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Residents got their first chance to talk about the rising property values happening in Wake County.

Melody Smith said she wasn't at all prepared when her new tax assessment arrived in the mail.

"I'm thinking, 'They have lost their mind,'" Smith said. Her home value more than doubled.

Last year, Smith's place was valued $107,868 and it soared to $238,619 with the new assessment.

"I knew once they started building these larger houses in our area that the property value is going up, but I had no idea it was going up this high. It's really ridiculous," she said.

Smith recently retired and is on a fixed income. She worries what the taxes will look like during the next go-around.

"Where are we going get this money from to pay these taxes? I don't think it's fair," she said.

Neighborhoods are being gentrified, yet it barely offsets demand.

Wake officials said 42 people move to the county every day.

The Department of Tax Administration held a community conversation meeting Monday night at Grace AME Zion Church in Raleigh.

Smith and other residents voiced their frustrations at the meeting

It was purposefully held in East Raleigh, where there has been significant redevelopment.

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Old bungalows were demolished and new homes shot up. The land value has soared 300 percent from just four years ago.

Wake Tax Administrator Marcus Kinrade said some folks should be paying about the same in taxes if the rate is lowered.

"That's a wait and see because the tax rate won't be adopted until later in the year," he said.

With the new assessment, Smith knows she stands to make a good chunk of change.

"I get emails, phone calls, letters everyday almost of someone wanting to buy my property," said Smith.

She wants to stay put in the home built on dreams.

"My home is a habitat home. I helped built my home and I take pride in my home," she said. "I understand that we're going to have new people in the neighborhood, but look at the people who were there already."

Residents can appeal or file for tax relief.

The deadline to appeal is May 28th.

If you want financial help, residents need to call the Tax Administration at 919-856-5400 and then physically fill out a form.

The County is in the process of scheduling other information sessions. They'll be held in February and March.

Need an explainer? Here are step-by-step instructions on how you can find out what your tax bill might look like.
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