This article was published in the Lenoir News-Topic.

+Caldwell County updated its assessments of what all property in the county is worth, but most property owners won’t see a large increase in the assessed value.

The overall value countywide is projected to increase by 5 percent, with larger increases more likely in the north toward Blowing Rock, Tax Administrator Monty Woods said. Property owners in the southern part of the county, nearer Catawba County, may see virtually no increase in value. Owners can file an appeal of their reappraisal within 30 days of receiving notice of the new assessed value.

“Overall, we are projected to be about 5 percent over from our prior re-evaluation in 2005,” Woods said. “But if we get a lot of appeals, that may go down. There’s a lot of properties that have gone up, there’s a lot that have gone down, and there’s a lot that have stayed the same, sort of flat, sort of static.”

State law requires that counties reassess property value at least once every eight years. That gave the county a deadline of Jan. 1, 2013.

A reappraisal originally was scheduled to take effect in January 2005, but the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners voted to postpone it – largely because the local economy was sluggish.

Such postponements by counties became more frequent as the recession took hold, said Ken Joyner, a lecturer at the UNC School of Government and a former tax administrator.

“Statewide, it’s been a common occurrence, given this last cycle for counties where the economy changed so much,” Joyner said.