The Board of Equalization and Review (BER), a function of the Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor’s Office, is a panel of 15 citizens appointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners that reviews property tax appeals.
Appointments typically are made for three-year terms with no one serving more than two full consecutive terms.
The newest BER, which was appointed by the Board of County Commissioners in April, has already seen positive results from recent improvements made to their appeals process. Among the changes: “Appellants” (or people disputing their property tax assessments) are now assigned a specific time for their hearing, rather than just arriving on the day of their hearing and having to wait. County appraisal staffers are also contacting appellants to discuss their cases before any hearing takes place.
“In many cases, this has resolved differences before the hearing,” said Eric Anderson, deputy tax assessor. “It’s a time-saver for the taxpayer and members of the BER.”
It’s about increased efficiency, too, Anderson said. More than 300 cases from the 2012 tax year have been heard since the beginning of August, and the BER expects to start on 2013 appeals later in the fall. The BER has been meeting Tuesday through Thursdays every week.
Customer service is the cornerstone of the “new” BER, Anderson added -- from first contact with the customer to follow-through after they go through their appeal.
Earlier this year, the Board of County Commissioners added a customer satisfaction survey to the process, which taxpayers are being offered as they attend the BER meeting. Appellants are asked to offer feedback on their experiences with both the Assessor's Office staff prior to the hearing as well as their experience during the hearing itself.
Overall, it’s just a better experience for customers, Anderson added.
“The initial responses from the public and the new members of the BER have been positive,” he said.
Questions about the appeal process or the Board of Equalization and Review? Visit the Assessor’s Frequently Asked Questions or call 311.