A small group of concerned citizens, community organizers and local church leaders met Thursday to develop a plan to help friends and neighbors address their concerns over recent changes to the tax valuations of homes in Forsyth County. Facilitated by The Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity along with community organizers and citizens from the Konnoak Hills Community Association, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, and the South W-S Community Coalition met Thursday at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem to organize a drive to assist Forsyth County citizens who wish to file formal appeals regarding their recent home appraisals. The organizers hope to work through the weekend to develop various ways to get homeowners out on Monday so that they can file the appeals before the filing deadline on Tuesday March 12, 2013.
Bishop Todd L. Fulton of the Ministers Conference began the meeting by stating, “We are pressed for time. Tuesday is the deadline for appeals. We are going to have to network through neighborhoods. There is so much information to get out and so little time to do it in… our goal is to get as many appeals as we can in by Tuesday.”
The Ministers Conference is asking citizens who have not yet filed an appeal on their property tax assessment to bring their forms to three Winston-Salem recreation centers on Monday March 11. There they intend to have volunteers on hand to assist citizens in completing the forms properly and then the Ministers Conference will make sure that the forms get in before the Tuesday deadlline.
Volunteers will be located at the following Recreation Centers:
Georgia Taylor Community Center – 1471 W Clemmonsville Rd, (336) 650-7695
Carl H. Russell Sr. Recreation Center – 3521 Carver School Road (336) 727–2580
Sprague Street Community Center – 1350 E Sprague St (336) 650-7680
Volunteers will be on hand to assist those who wish to file formal appeals from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm and from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
There was some brief discussion of the legislation that has been proposed by State Representative Ed Hanes (D-NC72) which would freeze assessments at 2008 values and throw our the most recent assessments. (read CCD‘s coverage HERE) Bishop Fulton agreed that the legislation showed promise, but indicated that the primary focus of the Minister’s Conference in the short term is helping those who need to file an appeal do so before the deadline.
CCD talked to County Commissioner Everette Witherspoon (D) about Rep. Hanes’ bill. “I am 100% behind what Representative Hanes is doing. I think that the assessments should be done on an 8 year cycle like most other counties anyway.”
CCD showed County Commissioner David Plyler a bill similar to that of Rep. Hanes’ legislation (HB200) and asked him how he felt about the proposal. Commissioner Plyler stated, “Mecklenberg County’s mess is the result of poor administration of law. Whereas Forsyth County performed according to proven public policy and law. What MIGHT work for Mecklenberg, shouldn’t be applied here. Forsyth County is healthy. If any change in law is suggested… problems, needs, and interests of Forsyth should be CONSIDERED. It ain’t broken’ …in my view.”
CCD has reached out to several other County Commissioners and will publish their responses when available.
Representative Hanes’ office has indicated that he intends to have the legislation ready to file by Friday. The Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and vacinity will be holding a press conference tomorrow at noon in order to more fully announce their plans and intentions.
“We don’t want this to be about personalities,” Bishop Fulton told those assembled, “It is about the process. It is about individuals in our community who do not have a voice. We intend to help these individuals get their voice heard.”
The Minister’s Conference asks those who want to volunteer to help with this effort to contact Yolanda Hairston 336-767-1501.
For CCD‘s initial coverage of Rep. Hanes’ proposed legislation please see HERE.
For further context on the issue of property assessments in Forsyth County please see Jordan Green’s excellent coverage on Yes!Weekly’s blog HERE.