Taxpayer Association: Speak out over your assessments! - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Taxpayer Association: Speak out over your assessments!

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June 6, 2007

Albany - - Angry taxpayers continue to protest Dougherty County's new property assessments. A taxpayers association claims if 1900, people appeal their new values and those properties total at least five percent of the overall tax base, the whole process would have to start over from scratch. That's what they're hoping for.

"The problem is that my taxes tripled," says Al Standford.

And since his property revaluation, he's been looking for one thing.

"Information. I've been to Stonebridge, I've been to county commission, I need all the information," Stanford says.

Dr. John Bagnato addressed the group about the need to speak out.

"Whenever you have a tax issue that's being raised like this, one of the things that needs to be looked at is not just how the tax assessments were made, but who got assessed," he says.

Hilliard Burt who organized the meeting says people also need to get an idea what their neighbors were assessed. He says if there's a big difference in values, the assessors could be found at fault for not having uniformity.

He created petitions for disgruntled property owners to sign and appeal.

Dr. Bagnato says it's the only way to make a difference.

"What I really want is for people to ask questions and if they start asking questions and demanding answers we can correct some of the problems."

We asked Standford if he plans to sign the appeal.

"Oh I've already done that."

And he wants you to do the same.

"We need that five percent plus to go ahead and review it and dispute this tax assessment that they have in Dougherty County," Stanford says.

Burt says if you have questions about other property assessments in your area, you can go to the Dougherty County Tax office and look at them to compare to your own.

As of Friday, 1100 people had appealed their taxes.

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