Dougherty property values will change soon - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty property values will change soon

October 6, 2006

Albany - -If you own a home in Dougherty County, the taxable value of the home you live in may change soon. For the first time in four years, the county is re-evaluating the value of all homes and county leaders hired an outside company this year to do it.

If you got a property tax bill in the mail recently, it means you have until December 20th to pay this year's taxes for your home. Don't get used to that price, though, next year your bill may look a lot different.

All homeowners are used to seeing a tax bill in the mail each year. Occasionally, though, homeowners get a notice of assessment...meaning the value of your home has changed. Only 1500 people in Dougherty County got one this year.

"Most everyone will get a notice next spring," says Tax Director Denver Hooten. 

Next year, 35,000 will.

Dougherty County Tax Director Denver Hooten says 2007 is a re-evaluation year, meaning the county has to re-assess its entire tax base to keep up with state guidelines. So don't be surprised, she says, if you see someone taking photos of your property.

"We have teams going out with this company. They're identified on their car, they do have id on them. They do need to look at the properties in order to make a fair assessment."

This year the county hired Tyler Technologies, CLT Division to do the job.

"It's the first year we've contracted outside since 1963."

They're determining the value of your home based on the fair market value. If you don't like the value they come up with, you have 45 days to appeal to the Board of Tax Assessors.

"Circumstances that the tax department doesn't know about, sometimes a lot is subject to flooding on the back side. Maybe there's something specific about your property that is not known that hasn't been factored in."

In fact, you can even make your own prediction of your home's worth, by logging onto the county's web site.

"It allows individuals to pull up their properties just on an inquiry, we hopefully this year will have where you can pay your property taxes online, were working on that right now."

A few things to prepare you...just in case you get an assessment notice in the mail next year.

The inspectors started re-evaluating homes 4 months ago. They wont wrap up until June of next year. After the re-evaluations are complete, the city, county, and school board will adjust next year's millage rate - so there's no way to predict how much your tax bill will change.

To find out how to estimate the current value of your home, you can visit the county's website at:  http://www.qpublic.net/ga/dougherty/

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