Assessment notices went out last week and several property owners were shocked to find that rates had increased significantly – some even increasing by 200% or more. Some property owners immediately took to Facebook, while others started calling the Tax Assessors office or the County Commission office.
Who was reassessed?
Tax Appraiser Marian Grier explained that one-third of the county is being reassessed this year and in 2020, the company hired for reassessments focused in the City of Metter.
“We hired a consultant in 2019, The Million Pines Co. LLC,” she said. “They did the eastern section of the county last year and this year did the City of Metter.” Metter accounts for about 2300 of the county’s 6926 parcels, one third of the total. In 2021, the western portion of the county will be reviewed.
Reassessments take place using three methods, Grier said: For land, a sales approach is used and for buildings, a cost or income approach is used.
“We do our best to get things uniform,” she explained, stating that the state follows reassessments using a ratio study. The Georgia Department of Audits explains that a ratio study provides an estimate of the “true” value of the sold property compared to value of unsold property for the entire property in a jurisdiction or part of a jurisdiction.
Beginning last year, Grier said, “The Board of Assessors and I applied a new rural land schedule for the county. I was surprised we didn’t hear more at that time,” Grier said. The appeals that were filed were worked through, she added.
Commercial Property impacted in this reassessment
This year, since reassessments occurred inside the city, including the business district, more commercial property was impacted, which has led to more vocal responses from property owners.
“Anytime you touch commercial property, people are more concerned,” Grier said. In the reassessment process, Grier said, “We picked up what we saw and took off what was gone, and we checked for improvements (on the property).”
What caused my value to change?
According to Grier, a few things may have impacted your individual property assessment:
1.Are you on city sewer or do you have a septic tank? “We coordinated with the city and conducted an audit of all parcels that do not have sewer,” Grier said. “In 1995, we put septic tanks on the digest, and now they are at $1500. The city sent us a list of properties without city sewage.”
2.Do you have a swimming pool? “We have made swimming pools uniform and reappraised them at $9798,” Grier said.
3.Do you own a mobile home? Mobile homes are assessed using a schedule provided by the State of Georgia, Grier explained.
Six years is
a long time
Something else to consider, Grier said, is that the last time a full review like this one happened in the city was in 2014.
A lot of things can happen in that time, including property upgrades.
“Be aware of any changes in these past six years,” Grier advised.
A new thing in 2020: Notices online
Something new this year, Grier said, is that assessment notices are now tagged on the Tax Assessor’s website to every parcel.
“You can go to the website and pull the notice and print it out,” she said.
Notices were mailed to property owners of record January 1, 2020. And the notices have also been attached to each parcel on the website at www.qpublic.net/ga/candler.
File an appeal
If you disagree with your property’s reassessment, Grier said, “If you don’t agree or understand (your assessment), come talk to me. My door’s always open. If something is wrong, we can fix it.”
She added that not all properties increased and some that did had only a nominal increase.
“You always hear about the ones that go up, but not the ones that go down,” she said, stating that one landowner with more than 10 parcels only had exception with a few of them but not all of them.
Property owners can file an appeal on their values by July 10, 2020. Appeal forms are found on the website listed above (under the ‘Appeals’ button).
New homestead exemption applications and new covenant applications will be accepted through July 10. Due to COVID-19, the normal filing deadline was extended.
Abatement of county fees may also be filed until July 10.