Lee County property to be re-evaluated - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee County property to be re-evaluated

June 21, 2004

Lee County- The value of Lee County homes may go way up in the next two years.

That means taxes could be on the rise too.

"It's the fastest growing county in this area," said W.F. Griffin, vice chairman of the Board of tax assessors. "The desirability of property in Lee County. The property value in Lee County is increasing. They're not decreasing."

It's been seven years since the county had property re-evaluated. Since then, Lee County has grown from 8,500 parcels to 12,000.

"We're actually behind what the state says we should be at, as far as our tax we charge or the amount of tax we do," said county commission chairman Eddie Hinman.

That's because some property is undervalued. So the county will spend two years evaluating every piece of property, from empty lots to commercial property. The commission also instructed the tax assessors office implement a program that will arrange re-evaluations regularly so future increases won't be so drastic.

"And in order to assure that a tax payer in Lee County pays that portion of tax that they're responsible for is totally dependent upon the accurate market value of their property," Griffin said.

Homeowners worried the value of their property will go up, will also have time to plan. The new values won't go in effect until 2006.

"The primary purpose in value is to keep taxes realistic, equal and fair among taxpayers," Griffin said.

So even if it means eventually paying more, at least property owners will know the real worth of what they've got.

posted at 10:33 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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