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Tax assessments mailed, some incorrect
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Owners of the more than 23,000 pieces of taxable property in Liberty County are receiving mailed assessment notices, some of which have missing or incorrect reason-for-increase codes, tax officials say.
The assessment forms, mailed last week, should provide a code that explains the reason for property tax changes.
Chief Appraiser Glenda Roberts said taxpayers who do not understand reason codes on their assessments could contact her office for an explanation or to ask other questions.
Appeals continue to arrive at the assessors’ office, with about 50 in hand this week.
The assessors’ office is in Room 104 of the courthouse annex. The phone number is 876-2823.
Property owners have until June 18 to appeal the assessed value. Appeals can be delivered by hand, mailed or sent via fax. The mailing address is P.O. Box 829, Hinesville GA 31310 and the fax number is 876-2870.
The assessors provide a form to be used for appeals, but its use is not required. Any written appeal is acceptable, but required information must be provided.
Appeals should include the map and parcel number identifying the land, the reason for the appeal and any supporting documentation.
There are four reasons for successful appeals: value, taxability, equality and denial of exemption. Property owners should have received two assessment notices this year. One gives the assessed current fair market value and the other gives the assessment under the Kemp / DeLoach / Williams Tax Relief Act. Both values can be appealed.
The tax assessors office now has four field appraisers, which they say is enough to allow them to reappraise each parcel of land in the county at least once every three years.
The state recommendation is to have one field appraiser for each 3,000 parcels. Each appraiser now has about 4,500 parcels, a number Roberts said is manageable. But she noted the board is asking for an additional appraiser and another data entry job to be funded in the county’s next budget.
The assessors are also acting on a suggestion from the state Department of Revenue to review all tax-exempt property.
The current tax digest shows 1,037 pieces of land exempt from taxation in Liberty County. This is public property, most notably the military reservation of Fort Stewart as well as public schools, land owned by the Liberty County Development Authority, etc.
Other exempt categories include churches, educational institutions and religious cemeteries. The total exempt property is worth an estimated $147 million.
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