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The bill is in the mail

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November 14, 2007

Albany -- Dougherty County Property Tax bills are on the way to you. They were mailed from Statesboro yesterday.  The deadline to pay those bill has been pushed back until January 20th because they're a month late going out. 

More than 1,500 people will also pay only a portion of the bills because their appeals are pending.

Fewer people are waiting to appeal their property assessments, but they're still furious. "I can't imaging that this is HUD's way of promoting home ownership. That's the American dream and then you're taxed out of it. I think it's ridiculous," said Sandra Webb, who is appealing her assessment. 

Webb retired here after working in Washington D.C. She's on a fixed income and says she can't afford her re-assessment.

"It looks to me it could be as much as $600, $700 more a year." This is the second time Gene Clark has been in for an appeal, and with five properties, it won't be his last. "They lowered it about $20,000, which was about half what it should be."

Soon they'll get their bills, but for the 1500 still appealing, the bill will only be for 85 percent of the assessed value. "It will note that on your bill, in other words, there is a message directly under that piece of property information that just says it's been calculated at 85 percent of the value pending the appeal. Depending on the outcome, they'll get another bill or a refund," said Dougherty County Tax Director Denver Collins-Hooten.

The entire process has Sandra Webb re-thinking retirement. "I retired and moved here thinking this would be the ideal location, it is not. The tax increases are just outragous."

She's now considering a move out of Dougherty County.  

On the new bills, there's an opportunity for people to pay their taxes online. Some appeals have progressed to the stage of Superior Court. In order to continue that appeals process, property tax bills must be paid in full first.

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