2009/12/10 letter to Durham County

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(919) 627-8595 Sandy Hall
122 Pinecrest Rd.
Durham, NC 27705

December 10, 2009
County of Durham
Office of the Tax Administrator
PO Box 3397
Durham, NC 27702-3397

Dear Tax Administrator,

I need to protest the current valuation of my property. I would have protested it when it was raised in 2008, but we were dealing with a family crisis at the time (my autistic son, Josh) and I was completely overwhelmed. Also the property value bubble was at its peak, and it didn't seem quite as implausible that my house could be worth almost $400k -- if not that year, then in a fairly short time.

However, the bubble has collapsed, and although home prices are still over-valued I do not think my home is worth your assessed value of $373,019. A private assessor valued it at $252,600 in 2005, and there have been no improvements or repairs done since then, other than to replace the central heat when the blower motor died and to replace the water heater when it stopped working.

As it is, we are going to have a very difficult time coming up with the full tax amount of $4,655.65 considering our ongoing situation with Josh, whom we have been trying to place in a group home or therapeutic foster care for several years now and whose ongoing care needs make it essentially impossible for either of the adults in the house to seek employment until he is placed in another residence.

I think a reasonable value for this house would be $275,300, which is the 2005 assessed value of $252.6k adjusted for approximately 9% inflation of the dollar since 2005.

Please feel free to write me (email is best) to discuss these matters further. I also authorize you to discuss any of my personal information with Nick Staddon, who lives with me at this address.

Thank you,

Sandy Hall