Elected official: No repeat of showroom headaches

Oct. 18, 2013 @ 08:04 AM

Guilford County Commissioner Bill Bencini said he doesn’t want a repeat of the grief that some High Point Market showrooms endured last year as the county prepares for its business personal property tax audit.
Last year, some furniture market showroom owners and operators were enraged when they received letters from the county saying they owed businesses taxes. Eventually, the issue was resolved after the showroom owners protested the assessment.
Bencini, the Republican vice chairman of the Board of Commissioners from High Point, said as the county awards an audit contract for this year, he doesn’t want the showroom assessment problem to happen again. At its meeting Thursday, the board considered awarding a contract for the audit services.
“I hope the company (selected) doesn’t use that technique,” Bencini said.
Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis assured Bencini and the other commissioners that county staff would be aware of what happened with the showroom properties.
“There were slip-ups, I acknowledge,” Chavis said. “We learned lessons from that.”
Chavis said safeguards will be put in the contract with the company picked to do the business property tax audit that would flag a problem as happened last year with showroom properties. The fall High Point Market formally begins Saturday.
Last year, some showroom companies received bills for supposed back taxes going back up to five years.
The commissioners awarded the business personal property tax auditing services contract to the lowest bidder for the service, Tax Management Associates Inc. out of Charlotte. The contract, not to exceed $104,250, would last through October next year.
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