Hundreds challenge property revaluations - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds challenge property revaluations

May 24, 2007

Albany --  Nearly 500 Dougherty Countians have filed appeals to their property revaluations. The Dougherty County Tax Department has been swamped with calls and complaints.

Now, assessors are back in neighborhoods reviewing problem areas and some property owners have already been sent new assessments. 

Judy Glass is just one of 500 who's appealing her property tax assessment because of errors on two of her three properties. "Our residential property, we have a vacant lot, and they're showing it with a home on it-- and there's no uniformity. It went up anywhere from 33 percent to 74 percent." 

Tyler Technologies CLT Divisions who did the assessment admits there are errors, especially since they didn't have a flood plain map, or include that in assessments. Now both Tyler and the tax office are trying to make the wrong assessments right.

"They're doing a good bit just going out in the field and checking specific items," said Dougherty County Tax Director Denver Collins-Hooten.

Assessors are measuring homes again and verifying information with the homeowners.  "Anything that is specifically geared to your property that a reasonable person would not be able to see that as just measuring your house taking pictures that type of thing," Hooten said.

In some cases, those errors have been corrected.  Remember Clinton Miles?  His assessment of 328 acres on Oakridge Drive went up 3,000 percent from $592,000 to more than $23 Million.

"Mr. Miles has a new assessment notice. He had as we suspected an obvious error and that has been corrected," said Hooten.

The efforts are calming some property owners fears. "Everybody is human, we're all going to make mistakes I guess it's just more frustrating that you have to make the time to get off work," said Glass.

To ensure you get the same chance you've still got to file that written appeal. 

On average, the Tax Department says residential properties increased 25 percent, commercial properties increased 30 percent, and farmland increased 100 percent, because of how long it's been since farmland had been assessed.

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