Residents worry about paying higher property taxes after latest revaluations

Chad Brown, the chairman of the Gaston County Board of Commissioners, said the state told them their reevaluation numbers weren’t up to date and made them reappraise homes.

The reevaluation was scheduled eight years ago well before real estate prices skyrocketed.

The increase in home prices has caused sticker shock for many homeowners, Brown said.

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Donald Kirksey, of Dallas, got a letter from the county that showed his property doubled compared to last year.

“My mouth just dropped open,” Kirksey said.

His home was valued at $46,770 last year, and the updated value was $106,650.

Kirksey is disabled after complications from brain surgery.

He is on a limited budget and paid roughly $270 in taxes last year.

“I just barely had money to pay them last time,” he said.

Tony Curella, of Gastonia, is having the same issue.

“They are going to have to explain it to me,” Curella said.

Curella believes the appraisal is too high and he plans to contest it.

“And I might take a petition up in this neighborhood,” he said.

Gaston County Commissioner Tom Keigher said Curella is well within his rights to contest the appraisal, but no one should worry about paying double taxes.

“We will work to bring it down to the most responsible level that we can,” Keigher said.

County commissioners said they will have to drop the tax rate from 81 cents per $100 of value to around 60 cents.

Keigher said that still leaves a slight tax increase.

He couldn’t say how much more that would cost without more data. The tax increase is needed for 1,700 county employees.

“Their health insurance often goes up,” Keigher said. “We have to replace ambulances, law enforcement vehicles,” he said.

The county will likely set its tax rate in May, Keigher said.

He says that adjustment will come before people receive their property tax bills.

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