Irate taxpayers ready to stage "another Boston tea party" - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Irate taxpayers ready to stage "another Boston tea party"

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May 17, 2007


Albany --  The battle lines are drawn, and property owners in Dougherty County are ready to put up a fight.
  Many people say property revaluations are unrealistic and that "fair" Market value isn't fair at all. One man's property value increased more than 3,000%.

Clinton Miles says there must be oil he didn't know about on the tract of land he owns off of Oakridge Drive. "It won't never be worth that, unless they struck oil or gold.  It's unreasonable," Miles says.

Unreasonable, because he just received a tax notice that says the fair market value of these 328 acres went from $592,000 to more than $23 Million. "I was glad I was sitting down when I opened it," he said.

He says the last time a property evaluation was done in the nineties, and he expected an increase, but not one this large. "Ain't no way to sell it for that kind of money."

And he should know.  For the past 12 years, he's been trying to sell it for $2,500 an acre--  a total value of just over $1 Million. "Nobody has come with an offer."  Nothing? "Nothing!"

And now, the land, half of which is wetlands, is valued at more than $70,000 an acre.  He says that's ludicrous. "I think they're way out of line here.  It's hard to believe they would come up with a price like this."

So does Richard Thomas.  He's with the Dougherty County Taxpayers Association, and says government leaders should prepare for tea time.

"Maybe we'll have another Boston tea party," said Thomas. "If the county is ready to go to war, we're ready to throw the tea bags in the bay."

He and other property owners are holding a meeting to discuss the constitutionality of an ad valorem tax in the first place. "This is the tipping point that's going to push people to take action."

An action Miles hopes will bring the value of his land back down. "If they want to buy it, they can have it."

Or, he says, he'll join them for tea. 

The taxpayers meeting will take place Wednesday at 3:00PM at Albany Realty.  Anyone with a problem with their property value should contact the number on their tax notice within 45 days of that notice.

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