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More Boards needed to hear appeals

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July 16, 2007

Albany - So many Dougherty County property owners appealed their new appraisals, the County is adding two boards to hear those appeals. The current board of equalization is overwhelmed with the 5,000 appeals, so the Grand Jury will now make appointments to two additional boards.

Although most property owners had to file revaluation appeals by June, the appeals process is just now getting underway. "We are really just getting started," said Denver Hooten.

Many people have gone before Tyler, the company that actually performed the revals, but there's a long line to get in front of the Board of tax assessors and then the Board of Equalization. "We have approximately 5,000 appeals and in order for the taxpayers to be heard in a timely manner, one board is not really adequate," said Hooten.

With the unprecedented number of appeals, tax Director Denver Hooten says it was crucial for the Board of Equalization to receive some extra help. "Normally, one panel can hear the number of appeals we have, but this is not like any other year."

County Attorney Spencer Lee said, "that will serve the public a little better in that in a timely manner go in and present their case before the board and have them determine value when they have appealed their particular assessment."

Even with the added boards, the appeals could last through late fall, and ultimately property owners can take their appeals all the way to Superior Court.

During years of partial revaluations, appeals were typically finished by July or August. All properties in the county were appraised this year, so the appeals process will take a lot longer.

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