Business owner irate over property value appraisal - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Business owner irate over property value appraisal

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August 1, 2007

Albany -- The lengthy property value appeals process continues in Dougherty County.

More than 5,000 property owners are challenging their reassessments. Wednesday, the Board of Equalization heard more of those challenges.

William Burger has operated Overhead Door Company of Albany for 25 years.

For twenty-three of those years his business has been located at 204 Poplar Street, where this year his property value increased nearly $40,000.

"The property is over valued. It's supposed to be fair market value, and the property in this area has been sitting and not selling, and they're going up in the value," said Burger.

Burger appealed the appraised value this morning before members of the Board of Equalization.

Burger's business, which consists of an office and 2 warehouses, went from just more than $94,000 at last appraisal to $131,000 in value in 2007.

"It's ridiculous," says Burger.

But one of Burger's main arguments with the appraised value concerns an old building on his property.

Burger says he was shocked to learn that a 60-year-old warehouse that he had considered  tearing down off the property, had been appraised at nearly $23.00 a square foot.

The building, which serves primarily as a shed, was valued at nearly $12,000.

County appraisers say the smaller the building, the more the square foot price will be. But Burger argues the overall increase in the value of business properties is not good for small business owners.

"Basically, in this area, they're taxing us out of business."

For now Burger must wait for the official letter that will tell him if in fact, an adjustment will be made.

Last week, the Board of Equalization heard the first 51 appeals.

All of them were denied. Most because the property owners did not show up to the hearing.

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