Wood said there is a public misunderstanding of the job she does.
“People think that my office handled the recent valuations of property,” she said. “We did not. It is the job of the Assessors.”
She said the only thing a tax commissioner does is collect property tax based on values provided by the assessors office and collected on mill rates determined by the board of commissioners, school board and State of Georgia.
“I send out tax bills based on numbers they (assessors) give me,” she said. “I need people to understand that it is not my responsibility to determine property value.”
Wood said her phone keeps ringing due to questions people have about the recent notices they received.
Meanwhile, property owners are also calling and visiting the Tax Assessors office.
Chief Assessor Janell Cook said – according to Georgia law – her office must revalue property.
Three years ago, the Georgia Department of Revenue’s audit determined values were low for rural land in Polk County. This sparked revaluation.
Values are based on sale prices of property. A good ratio is 30 to 40 percent. In Polk, the ratio was about 31 percent.
Georgia law sets a property’s assessed value set at 40 percent of Fair Market Value, as determined by the Board of Assessors. A $100,000 home would be assessed at $40,000.
If you don’t agree with the total, you can appeal on the basis of:
Taxability: Is property taxable to begin with or should it be exempt.
Uniformity: How does the value compare with similar properties in the neighborhood?
Value: Is the value set by the assessors correct?
If you wish to appeal, you have 45 days from the date of the assessment notice. Otherwise the assessed value will be used for taxation purposes.
“When an appeal is filed with the Tax Assessors, we go back out and look at the property. If there is a need to change, we correct it and send out another assessment notice,” Cook said.
Thereafter, a property owner has 30 days to determine if they wish to appeal. If so, it is send to the Board of Equalization, an independent, three-person board that hears the appeals at no cost to the individual.
If you have a question about your property, call the Tax Assessors Office at 770-749-2108 .