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Administrative — Appeals – Time for Filing – USPS – No Postmark – Late Receipt – Pandemic Extensions

Administrative — Appeals – Time for Filing – USPS – No Postmark – Late Receipt – Pandemic Extensions

The deadline for filing the appellant-taxpayers’ appeals of their property valuations was April 1, 2020. Although it appears the taxpayers mailed their notices of appeal on March 30, 2020, since their notices were not postmarked, and since the Property Tax Commission did not receive the notices until April 6, 2020, the notices were not timely filed.

We affirm the Property Tax Commission’s dismissal of the taxpayers’ appeals as untimely.

Although G.S. § 105-290(e) refers to the date “the board mailed” a notice of its decision, the statute does not require a board of equalization and review, made up of volunteers, or one of its members to physically deliver notices of decision to the U.S. Postal Service. In fact, G.S. § 105-322(d) appoints the county assessor as clerk to the board, and G.S. § 105-296(a) grants the assessor “all powers reasonably necessary in the performance of his duties not inconsistent with the Constitution or the laws of this State.” We reject (1) the taxpayers’ challenge to the assessor’s employment of a third-party, nongovernmental contractor to mail the board’s notices and (2) the taxpayers’ argument that the board must supervise the assessor in mailing the notices.

It is true that then Chief Justice Cheri Beasley entered emergency orders extending time limits for the courts during the pandemic shut-down; however, the Property Tax Commission is an administrative agency, not a trial court. Administrative agencies, even if quasi-judicial, are not considered trial courts for purposes of limitations periods.

Former Chief Administrative Law Judge Julian Mann, III, also entered an order extending limitation periods, but only for contested cases before the Office of Administrative Hearings. As such, this order cannot be applied to extend the filing deadline for the taxpayers’ appeals to the Property Tax Commission.


In re POP Capitol Towers, LP (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-078-22, 20 pp.) (Darren Jackson, J.) Appealed from the Property Tax Commission. Lindsey Walker Hillis for appellants; Ronald Gibson and Robert Adden for appellee. 2022-NCCOA-205

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