AllOnGeorgia reached out to each member of the Chattooga County Board of Assessors regarding the recent assessments.
The following questions were sent to Doug Wilson (Chairman), John Bailey, Betty Brady, Jack Brewer, and Andrew Johnson.
Was anything different about this year’s assessments? (Process, technology, etc)
What type of reaction if any have you received?
Do you know anything about a possible glitch?
What recommendations do you have for citizens concerned with their tax assessments?
Board member Betty Brady promptly responded to the media inquiry.
“Thank you for reaching out and allowing our input.
Technology has upgraded considerably since I’ve been on the Assessor’s Board. This year’s primary difference has been in the use of GMASS and since this is the first year in use, it makes sense that some assessments were inaccurate. That’s why property owners should appeal their assessments if they are shocked by their numbers.
My home assessment went up over $62,000. This increase is widespread as we’re hearing from property owners across Georgia that received the same sticker shock. The Assessor’s Office and Board are required by the GA Department of Revenue to treat all property owners in fair and equitable fashion. There is no picking and choosing of who will receive larger assessments.
All field appraisers and Board members are required to attend GA Dept of Revenue training, and failure to comply with required standards can and will result in stiff penalties for the county to pay. In short, the Assessor’s office must abide by the rules.
Through the years we have observed property sales prices climb higher and higher. This is due to growth; supply and demand. People from other areas saw the beauty and tranquility of NW Georgia and so many were willing to pay exorbitant prices to come here to live. This is progress and, like it or not, it has reached Chattooga County. Home prices have skyrocketed. We’ve all seen this as it happened and it was inevitable that assessments would rise due to prices others were willing to pay. People with properties to sell will not turn down the current opportunity to enjoy the increase. It’s a vicious cycle that keeps growing.
We’ve also seen bigger demands from our school systems. Where do we draw the line on spending?
I’ve had several calls from property owners since the new notices came out. Most were flabbergasted; some were afraid to appeal because their homes are so rundown that they fear condemnation may result if they bring attention to it. Some were simply wanting to cast blame. I listened to each one who contacted or came to me and gave them the most solid and beneficial advice I could.
The truth is that each case needs to be looked at individually and common sense judgments issued accordingly. This is a large undertaking the Board of Assessors can expect to face in the near future and each property owner deserves to be treated respectfully and equitably.
I personally do not know of any reported ‘glitch’ but it stands to reason that with the new system being implemented and thousands of property data being entered, it is certainly possible that various errors have occurred.
My hope is that property owners will understand that this is not a political issue. It is a supply and demand housing issue. Our Commissioner did not cause assessments to jump so high but he has promised to use his authority to roll back the millage rate. Further, the Governor has promised property-owner tax relief.
Knowledgeable people knew this was coming but perhaps not so intensely as we’re seeing. Assessors staff do their job every day, visiting properties, noting and reporting changes as required by law. They have no axe to grind with anyone; they’re simply doing their jobs. This is part of the overall process. Let’s work together toward the best overall solution.”