Many property owner re-vals are really high - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Many property owner re-vals are really high

May 16, 2007

Albany--  Some Dougherty County property owners are in shock. Last month we warned you that revaluation notices would be on there way soon. They started arriving in the mail this week and many people say their property values went sky high. Some are looking for relief.

Mailboxes in Dougherty County haven't revealed the best news these past few days as people receive assessment notices.

"It moved some over the years but nothing like this," said said Lester Bell.

Homeowner Lester Bell isn't too happy. "Wasn't expecting it. But you never know," said Bell.

He never knew his property value would go up so significantly, three times what he thought it was worth. "Close to $400,000," said Bell.

Bell isn't alone.

"I've received a lot of phone calls these past two days," said Jeff Sinyard. Some of those people told Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard their values actually went down, but many said the numbers are just way too high.

"Money is hard to come by these days. Folks work hard for their money and it's important that we do it right," said Sinyard.

So Sinyard urges property owners to take advantage of the appeal process. That way if the numbers aren't fair, they can be disputed.

"So that every citizen will have the chance to get it right. I wish the process wasn't necessary. I wish that all the numbers were on the money to start with but unfortunately that's not the case when you have a re-val," said Sinyard.

With property values going up significantly, the tax base could certainly go up as well. That could equal a decrease in the county's millage rate. "We don't know what the numbers are on the budget yet. We still don't know what the final numbers are on the re-val but I can assure you Dougherty County is only going to use the money necessary to run the government," said Sinyard.

Sinyard says right now it's too early to tell how re-vals will affect taxes. As far as Bell can tell, it'll be rough paying taxes on such high property value.

"We're going to look into it," said Bell. He plans to take those concerns to the Board of Tax Assessors as some already have.

It's not just homeowners feeling the pinch.  Commercial property owners are also surprised by revaluations. In fact, a group plans to band together as a taxpayer coalition. They plan to meet some time next week.

Some properties hadn't been reasessed in more than 60 years. If you feel yours is incorrect, you have to file an appeal in writing no later than 45 days after the date of the notice.

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