HICKORY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Catawba County’s 2023 property reassessments and revaluations are now out, and many are preparing — or have already received — a little sticker shock in the form of new property values that may be significantly above what people anticipated.

“The market has changed since 2019, and it has increased,” said Catawba County Tax Administrator Brian Myers.

The county is one example of this — where the tax base has gone up 69%. Notices went out Friday about the revaluations, and for the past several days, tax officials have been fielding hundreds of calls from people wanting an explanation or guidance.

“Once every four years, our office does a revaluation, and that revaluation process is that we establish market value for every property in Catawba County,” said Myers, who noted the process is the same in many counties across North Carolina. 

Catawba is one of the counties doing this state-mandated process at the moment.

That has not stopped the commotion about it, though. On Thursday, Queen City News visited one neighborhood in Newton to get opinions from homeowners. Many we spoke with did not wish to go on the record but noted their own property increases and those of their neighbors. They said it had been a hot topic since people received those notices all week. In some cases, they noted property values sometimes doubled.

Catawba County Tax Administrator Brian Myers said the evaluation is done every four years.

“My house went from $179,000 to $375,000, according to what they said my house was worth,” said Jeffery Steelman, who has been doing a bit of math in the last few days. “The average price per square foot is $114 per square foot, and they valued my house at $128 per square foot.” 

The main concern from those Queen City News spoke with has to do specifically with the notices — which not only showed how much property was now worth according to market value but also led to concerns that those new property values would lead to significantly higher tax rates.

Myers quickly addressed this, noting that once a person gets the notice, “it’s not an indicator of what that bill might be.”

Myers noted that Catawba County Commissioners would use the information on the reassessments as part of the budget and to set the tax rate for the next budget. That vote will come in June. The notices are not actually bills or notices of how much more the final bill will be.

Steelman said he still had questions and had an appointment to get those questions answered.

“Tell me what you’re doing. I need to understand it better because I don’t think anyone who opened up that piece of mail understood what was happening,” Steelman said.

Myers noted that around 800 calls have come into the county tax office since Monday, and they are ready to answer more questions about the notices. 

The number for the office is 828-282-2009. They also have a website to address questions on revaluation here