Letter: Mathews property owners need to speak up
I hope that I am one of thousands of Mathews homeowners who is incensed by the ludicrous 2010 property assessments. At an increased total assessment of 91 percent, with a nearly doubled land value assessment, the county assessors have valued my property higher than for which it can be sold. Is this an honest mistake, or are we playing yet another revenue shell game?
Looking at the housing market during 2000-2005, real estate market values skyrocketed within a range of 25 to 50 percent, depending on location. Home buyers were paying, in some instances, more than the asking price, and bidding wars were frequent for highly desirable properties. The years 2006-2007 marked the bursting of the housing bubble and the commencement of a severe economic downturn.
From 2007 to the present, housing market prices fell and have remained flat with stagnant market activity. The effective decrease in values ranges between 25 to 40 percent; again, depending on location. Our real national unemployment rate is 15-20 percent, and our overall economy is not projected to improve in the near future. Because several tax cuts are being rescinded in 2011, because of punitive new small business tax increases, and because of great uncertainty, we find ourselves in a deeper financial hole than we have been in three quarters of a century.
The housing market, with no thanks to the federal government, has adjusted itself since 2007, and we now realize a near-zero net gain in home values. Our supervisors need to represent us in this matter, but it is the responsibility of property owners to voice their concern over the exorbitant increases in this year’s reassessment. It would be negligent and irresponsible for anyone to accept such changes.