NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- The May 7 deadline to appeal your homes tax appraisal is fast approaching. After this year's re-evaluation and with the price of property skyrocketing, many homeowners have already appealed. And all of those appeals are putting pressure on county tax offices. Many homeowners had a bad case of sticker shock when they got their re-evaluation notices. New Hanover County tax administrator Robert Glasgow says the sharp spikes are caused by population growth. Glasgow said, "We've seen an 81 percent growth average across the county. Of course the largest areas being near the water, the river, the ocean -- all those areas which have really substantially increased." Glasgow says if you don't get a response to your informal tax appeal by May 7 your case will automatically be rolled forward to the formal appeal process. We're potentially talking about several thousand people here. Glasgow said, "So they will be eligible to speak in front of the board of appeals. We will be working on the appeals up until the board actually does have its first hearing." If you feel your assessment is incorrect, then the burden is on you to prove it's wrong, and it's a battle you might just be able to win. Bob Ochs thought $400,000 for his land alone was way too high, so he did some digging. "Thanks to the magic of the computer I could check the appraised value of all the properties. I found there were only four properties appraised at $400,000. The rest were appraised at $250,000," Ochs said. Ochs appealed and the county dropped his property value by $150,000, saving him hundreds on his taxes. Ochs says some of his neighbors weren't as fortunate. "I know of one young man who appealed and his property value was increased." All appeals -- win or lose -- should be resolved by the end of August.
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