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Assessments jump in Long County
MR LongTaxes
Taxing questions: Beverly Johnson and Tara Futch help Gene Jackson with information regarding a Conservation Land-Use Exemption. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
Long County property owners have most likely received a notice from the Tax Assessor’s Office informing them the 2007 revaluation on their property increased substantially.
Residents have reported increases anywhere from 40 percent to 200 percent, and many people are confused as to the reason for the dramatic jump in assessments this year.
“Over the last couple of years, the market sales in the county have skyrocketed, and as a result of this, property values have increased substantially,” Long County Tax Assessment Office Chief Appraiser Beverly Johnson said. “This also was the first increase the county has had since the 2002 assessment.”
According to Johnson, the revaluation changes the fair market value of property to its current market value.
She said the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts does an audit in all counties every year. From this audit, the rate of sales, in regards to their yearly value, is determined, and it has to be at 40 percent. Last year’s amount was at 32.28 percent.
“The ratio for last year was at little over 32 percent. At this amount, the county really wasn’t setting the year value where it was suppose to be,” Johnson said.
But even though the market value of property increased, Johnson said, it won’t be as dramatic as it may appear on the assessment notices.
“People will not be taxed on their fair market value, but on 40 percent of the value, and if people feel that their assessment isn’t correct, they can appeal it, and we will look at it and see if it is or not,” she said.
Johnson also pointed out that homeowners who haven’t filed for a homestead exemption yet have until Nov. 26 to do so.
She said if a property owner has 10 or more acres, and they have no plans to use the land for anything other than agriculture, they could apply for a conservation exemption.
“The millage rate will not be set until after Nov. 26 when the digest figure will be determined,” Johnson said.
In regards to the millage rate, Long County Commissioner Mike McGowan said, “We are still working on the budget, but folks don’t have to worry about their land being taxed out from under them.
“We will have to deal with the increase in fuel cost and we will have a few necessary areas to adjust, but there will not be a tremendous increase in people’s property taxes.”
Long County Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Edwin Pope also commented on the millage rate saying, “With the growth we are seeing in the county, there will be some additional costs which will have to be paid for. But there should be a surplus, and if that’s the case, I am sure there will be a roll back on the rate.”
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