It Isn’t Just Us, the Entire Nation Is Burdened With Property Tax Inequities

Asheville at dusk

“We should limit the amount the property tax can increase each year. While mine was only a few hundred dollars, I had a friend whose increase was several thousands. It was SUCH a shock to them,” commented another North Carolina resident in the reappraisal community survey. 

Minicozzi faced the committee that Wednesday night, hoping to shed light on the opaque property tax system in North Carolina and be a voice for the concerned residents of Buncombe County, urging for change. Human viewpoints can be distorted by bias, and Minicozzi challenged the committee to find the truth in the data and challenge their own bias in the upcoming weeks as they examine the system and develop solutions to the issues presented by the community.

In the presentation, Minicozzi spoke about how racism has been practiced geographically throughout the United States. In 1934, the Federal Housing Administration enacted a policy known as “redlining,” which ultimately furthered segregation by creating an environment where African-American neighborhoods were refused insured mortgages. Throughout Urban3’s research, they’ve asked, “Does our assessment practice unknowingly do the same?

Assessors might not be distorting the law for their own gain, they may instead just be following a crude and broken system that has been in place for decades. It’s past time to look outside the box, realize our mistakes, accept the system is not working, and make a meaningful change. 

The Just Accounting for Health consortium, which includes Strong Towns, is collecting data and researching the potential causes and health effects of property tax inequities in Western North Carolina. The Just Accounting project is meant to bring about an understanding of the presence and effects of biases in property tax assessment standards, and to suggest possible solutions. 

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be digging deeper into the research presented by Urban3 and the other partners in the Just Accounting project. Check out the website and sign up for email alerts to follow along on our journey.

You May Also Like