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Board of Assessor’s
Appling County
69 Tippins St. Suite 101 Baxley, GA 31513 PH:(912) 367-8108
Frequently Asked Tax Questions Who are the members of the Board of Assessors? When does the Board of Assessors meet? What does the Board of Assessors do? What are Ad Valorem Taxes/Property Taxes? What is Fair Market Value? How often are Property Appraisals done? What appraisal methods are used? Why did the value of my property change? How can I appeal my property assessment? What happens if my appeal is unresolved? How is assessed value determined? How do I calculate my tax rate? How are taxes collected? What are my rights and responsibilities? Appling County Revaluation Apprasial Staff: Myrna Taylor - Chief Appraiser Dedra Carter - Appraiser II Ryan McNeal Apprasier - II / Personal Property Appraiser Pamela Statum - Receptionist/Clerk Board of Assessors: Members: Roger Branch- Chairman Larry Rayner- Co-Chairman Verlene Moody David Eason Eddie Cleland The Board of Assessors meets the last Wednesday of every month at 1:00 p.m. in the Tax  Assessors Office. All meetings are open to the public and citizens are encouraged to attend. [Back to top] Board of Assessors' Responsibility The Appling County Board of Assessors is the governmental entity responsible for the  valuation of all the real and personal property in the city and county. The Assessors' Staff  estimate fair market value to assure that the tax burden is distributed equitably and uniformly.  Their primary goal is to ensure fair and objective appraisals. The Board is a five-member panel which is appointed by the County Commissioners for a  staggered three and six-year terms. In Appling County, the members work part-time to fulfill their  obligations and set policy. They hire a professional staff to appraise all property. Policy and Procedure Manual [Back to top]   Ad Valorem: Taxes/Property Taxes The "Ad Valorem" Tax or the Property Tax is based on value. The Property Tax is part of a well  balanced revenue system that is designed to spread the tax burden to all citizens who benefit  from the Government. Property taxes, along with collections of sales tax, licenses and permit  fees, fines and forfeitures and charges for services, bring in the majority of the funds to operate  the Appling County Governments and School Systems. [Back to top] Fair Market Value The Fair Market Value of Real Property means the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay  for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm's length, bona fide  sale. Said property must be exposed for sale in the open market allowing a reasonable time to  find a purchaser who buys with knowledge of all uses to which it is adapted and for which it is  capable of being used. The Fair Market Value of Personal Property, Georgia Law states, "With respect to the valuation  of equipment, machinery, fixtures and inventories, Fair Market Value may be determined by  resorting to any reasonable, relevant and useful information including, but not limited to, the  original cost of the property, any depreciation or obsolescence, and any increase in value by  reason of inflation". Each Assessor shall have access to any public records of the taxpayer for the purpose of  discovering such information. The Law further states, "In determining Fair Market Value of a  going business where its continued operation is reasonably anticipated, the Assessors may  value the equipment, machinery, fixtures and inventories which are the property of the business  as a whole where appropriate to reflect the accurate Fair Market Value". [Back to top] Property Appraisals: The Board of Assessors does not create property values. The assessors and appraisers only  monitor the markets and interpret what buyers and seller have established as the Market Value.  The appraised value is simply an estimate of what the property is worth. Finding the Market Value of your property involves discovering the price a typical buyer  would pay for the property in its present conditions. This is no simple task for the appraisal  staff because they have to estimate the value of each piece of property, no matter how big or  small, which is located in Appling County. But the appraiser's job doesn't stop here. Each year  it has to be done again because Market Value changes from one year to the next. [Back to top] Appraisal Methods: The appraisal staff keeps track of property ownership by receiving copies of all deeds filed in  Appling County. As property sells, they are able to keep current ownership information, tract  sizes, and sale prices of property sold. The appraisers must first know what the property to be appraised consists of in order to find  the Fair Market Value. The appraisal staff has, in the past, visited, reviewed and updated every  parcel of property in Appling County and has gathered data concerning land features, size,  zoning, and deed restrictions. If the property is improved, all improvements are measured and  information is gathered that will assist the appraiser in determining the value of improvements.  The appraisal staff maintains a scaled drawing of each structure located in Appling County and  through the review of building permits and information supplied by taxpayers, conducts field  reviews to update construction data as warranted. Using the above factors, as well as the appraiser's knowledge of the Real Estate Market, the  appraiser can estimate the Market Value using three different approaches to value:     the Cost approach     the Sales Comparison approach  the Income approach The appraiser may use one, two or all three in arriving at the Market Value of a piece of  property. The Cost approach uses actual replacement cost of the building, less deprecation, plus  the value of land. The Sales Comparison approach involves analyzing sales of similar  properties to predict the likely selling price of unsold properties. The Income approach is used  for income producing properties. It involves capitalizing the net income to arrive at a probably  selling price for the property. [Back to top] Value Changes: The value of property changes because of structural or market conditions. When this happens,  the Fair Market Value used by the Assessor's Office also changes. The change could be an  increase or decrease in value due to the circumstances. For instance, additions of rooms to your home or improved market factors would certainly  increase your appraised value. Removal of structures, or if your property had not been  maintained over a period of time and the roof was falling in or declining market factors would  decrease your appraised value. The appraiser has not created this value change. People,  property owners, create value by their transactions in the market place. The appraiser simply  reflects what buyers and sellers in the marketplace tell him/her the property is worth. [Back to top] Appeal Process: After you have received a notice of assessment and have given careful consideration to the  value placed on your property, you may file an appeal in writing to the Board of Assessors  within 45 days from the mailing date of the notice of assessment if you feel it is incorrect. Your  appeal should be based on one more of the following:     Taxability: Is the property taxable or does it qualify for exempt status?     Uniformity: Does the property value compare with the value of similar properties?     Value: Is the value of the property too high or too low? Once your appeal is filed with the Assessor's Office, it is reviewed by the Board of Assessors  and the appraisal staff. Based on the facts submitted in your letter and information contained in  the Assessors' appraisal file, a decision is made whether to raise, lower or not change the  property's Fair Market Value. If no change is made, the appeal is automatically certified to the  next appeal level, the Board of Equalization, for a hearing. If the value is changed, you will be  notified of the new value and you are given 21 days to appeal the changed value in writing to  the Board of Equalization if you feel the new value is incorrect. If you agree with the new  value, no further action on your part is needed. (Note: An arbitration method of appeal is  available to the taxpayer in lieu of an appeal to the Board of Equalization at the option of the  taxpayer at the time the appeal is filed.) [Back to top] Board of Equalization The Board of Equalization is a three member panel appointed by the Appling County Grand  Jury to serve three-year terms. The Board's specific function is to hear unresolved appeals from  taxpayers. Both the taxpayer and the Assessors' Office present evidence to the Board of  Equalization in much the same manner as a courtroom jury. After hearing the evidence, the  Board renders a decision on the value of property. If either party disagrees with the decision of  the Board of Equalization, they may proceed to the next appeal level which is the Superior  Court. [Back to top] Value and Taxes In Georgia, property is assessed at 40% of its appraised Fair Market Value. The ratio was  established by the General Assembly and once multiplied with your Fair Market Value,  determines your assessed value. The assessed value is multiplied with the tax rate to determine  the amount of taxes due. Though the value of your property affects the amount of taxes you pay on it, the actual amount  of taxes you pay is determined by the budgets needs of the city and county. In other words, the  tax is based on the millage rate, which is determined by dividing the governments' and schools'  budget needs by the assessed value of all the taxable property in the jurisdiction. [Back to top] Tax Rate  The Assessors' Office has no control over the tax rate or amount of your taxes. The primary  responsibility of the Assessors' Office is to appraise your property at its Fair Market Value so  that you pay no more than your fair share of taxes. The amount of taxes you pay is determined by the tax rate or millage rate as it is commonly  called. The tax rate is determined by all of the taxing agencies - State of Georgia, Appling  County Board of Commissioners, Appling County Board of Education, and is determined by  the budget needs to provide all the services citizens of Appling County want and require. [Back to top] Setting Tax Rate/Tax Calculation The tax rate is established after the budget process by each taxing agency. As an aid to view the  process, the following example illustrates how the amount of tax is determined through the  budgeting process and how this relates to the millage rate and then to the individual tax bill: Total Budget Needs as Determined by Each Taxing Authority ___________________$55,000,000 Assessed Value of all Taxable Property__________________________________$1,800,000,000 $55,000,000 divided by $1,800,000,000 = .0306 .0306 = Millage Rate or Tax Rate The amount of revenue needed to fund the budget is divided by the total assessed value of all  property - real and personal, public utilities, motor vehicles and mobile homes - to establish the  millage rate or tax rate. The millage rate is calculated in dollars per 1,000. It is then applied to  each individual assessed value to determine the amount of taxes. Fair Market Value of Property___________________________________________$100,000 Georgia Assessment Rate (40%) _______________________________________x        .40 Assessed Value_____________________________________________________$40,000 Millage Rate________________________________________________________x   .0306 Property Taxes_____________________________________________________= $1,224.00 As property is reappraised each year, your tax bill may or may not change. Let's assume that all taxable property increases by 25% and that all taxing authorities have no increase in budget needs. The calculation would be as follows: Total Budget Needs as Determined by Each Taxing Authority ___________________$55,000,000 Assessed Value of all Taxable Property with a 25% increase___________________$2,250,000,000 ($1,800,000,000 x 1.25 ) $55,000,000 divided by $2,250,000,000 = .0244 .0244 = Millage Rate or Tax Rate Fair Market Value of Property with a 25% increase____________________________$125,000 Georgia Assessment Rate (40%) _______________________________________x        .40 Assessed Value_____________________________________________________$50,000 Millage Rate________________________________________________________x   .0244 Property Taxes_____________________________________________________= $1,220.00 In the above examples, if a property owner has a Homestead Exemption, the exemption amount is deducted from the assessed value before the millage rate is applied. [Back to top] Tax Collection The Appling County Tax Commissioner compiles the tax digest from the property values given  by the Assessors' Office. The Tax Commissioner then multiplies each property assessment by  the millage rate given by the taxing authorities - State of Georgia, Appling County Board of  Commissioners, Appling County Board of Education, Baxley City Commissioners and Baxley City Board of Education - to determine the amount of tax. The Tax Commissioner mails the tax  bills to the property owners and collects the taxes accordingly. NOTE: Tax bills will NOT be mailed to your mortgage company. It is the homeowners  responsibility to forward the tax bill to their mortgage company in the manner prescribed by  your individual mortgage company. [Back to top] Your Rights and Responsibilities It is impossible for the staff  appraisers to visit each property while the owners are at home. It is very important that each  property owner review the Assessors' records to make sure the information is correct. If you do not agree with the value placed on your property, by all means go to the office and  discuss the matter. The appraisal staff will be glad to answer any questions about the appraisal  and explain how to appeal if you cannot come to an agreement. If you feel your taxes are too high, you should make your opinion known to the proper taxing  authority, not the Assessors' Office. The assessors do not set the tax rates which determines the  amount of taxes When visiting the Assessors' Office or Tax Commissioner's Office, please ask us about your  eligibility for special exemptions. The Assessors, the Tax Commissioner and their staff all want  to make sure you are receiving all applicable exemptions so you are only paying the proper  amount of taxes. Please allow these offices to answer any questions you may have. [Back to top] Appling County Revaluation Why is a revaluation necessary? State law regulates the preparation, compilation, and submission of tax digests and requires that property values meet certain criteria.  Periodic revaluation is a tool used in maintaining compliance with Georgia Department of Revenue regulations. County tax digests are reviewed for compliance every 3 years.  Failure to meet statistical requirements can trigger penalties.  The potential penalties included a $5.00 per parcel (at current parcel count is almost $66,000) penalty and the possibility of not being able to collect taxes until compliance is achieved. What are the State Requirements? 560-11-2.56 (1)(a) states: “County boards of tax assessors are required by the State Constitution and state law to continuously maintain assessments of property that are reasonably uniform and that are based on fair market value as defined in 48-5-2 (except as otherwise state in  48-5-6 and 48-5-7 (c.3)} The Department is required by law to periodically review the county digests if the digests are in compliance with such laws. How long has it been since a revaluation was performed? The last county-wide, door-to-door revaluation of residential, agriculture, Industrial and Commercial properties was conducted for tax year 1989. A “schedule” revaluation for residential properties was last performed for tax year 2008 and rural land schedules were updated for 1988. Why so long since the last revaluation? A complete revaluation is very laborious and typically occurs every 10-15 years. Budgetary constraints and staffing resources have prevented a revaluation since 1989. Will my property value increase? An increase will be more likely to occur if your value has remained level for many years. If your value has changed in recent years, it is less likely to change as a result of this revaluation. What if I disagree with my new property value? You may file an appeal just as in any other year within 45 days of the Notice of Assessment Will my property taxes increase? Levying authorities are required to calculate a “rollback” millage rate that is revenue- neutral for “inflationary growth”, an increase in value not initiated by a property owner.  If a millage rate above the “rollback” rate is being considered, the levying authority is required to advertise the proposed rate and hold three public hearings prior to adoption. The “rollback” millage rate is not reduced for “real growth”.  Real growth is an increase in value initiated by the property owner such as building or remodeling a home, adding a pool, finishing a basement, etc. What if I disagree with my new property taxes? Taxes in and of themselves, cannot be appealed.  Once may certainly address the appropriateness of the millage rate or the anticipated use of the tax revenue with the appropriate levying authority.  The Tax Assessor’s responsibility lies in and is limited to determining the fair market value and uniformity with like and similar properties. Why do we contract with and outside firm rather than perform the revaluation in-house? Contracting with a third-party to perform the revaluation is the most cost effective option.  It would be necessary to add a significant number of staff in the Tax Assessor’s office to accomplish a revaluation in-house. Can I find information before the values are finalized and implemented? The work-in-progress will not be available until the project is complete.  Once the property values have been reviewed and adopted by the Board of Assessor’s, this information will be available.  If you have a particular concern and want to ensure that we have the proper information, once of our appraisers will be happy to discuss your property with you When will the project be completed? The field work , data entry and statistical analysis is expected to take approximately 18- 24 mths, followed by several months of review prior to the adoption by the Board of Assessors. Can the appraiser be asked to leave/thrown off property? Georgia law, O.C.G.A. 48-5-264.1, provides the right of the chief appraiser (or their designee) to “go upon the property outside of buildings, posted or otherwise, in order to carry out the duty of making appraisal of the fair market value of taxable property in the county.” Identification is required to be prominently displayed. Reasonable notice is required. This does not mean making advance appointments with every property owner/occupant but that the appraiser always makes their presence known by knocking on the door.  Further notice is typically in the form of press releases, notices on website and will try to accommodate any such requests. We do, however, recognize that there are some limited occasions where appointments may be necessary and will try to accommodate any such requests. Will the appraiser need to come into my home? Generally, no.  GMASS does not have the right to come inside unless invited. There are occasional situations where the best determination may not be made from the outside.  Unless invited in to see the area, a decision will be based on the “best information available”. What if no one is home and appraiser needs additional information? Door hangers or other printed materials will be left that can be completed by the owner/occupant and returned via mail, email, fax or provided by telephone. How many parcels are affected? Approximately 13,000 county-wide Who is GMASS? Georgia Mass Appraisal Solutions & Services is a highly regarded Georgia based firm specializing in providing a variety of services in this field. www.gmass.net Will the GMASS appraisers be readily identifiable? Yes. All vehicles used by GMASS appraisers will have door signage which includes the Appling County logo and identifies them as Contractor/Appraiser.  In addition, GMASS appraisers will be required to wear Appling County issued identification badge with their name and phot. GMASS appraisers will be wearing a GMASS logo shirt and/or vest GMASS appraisers will knock on door/ring bell before commencing appraisal. Why might I receive a visit from both the county appraiser and the GMASS appraiser? County staff will still be performing our regular appraisal work generated by building permits, returns filed by owner, sales reviews, etc. Every effort will be made to minimize duplicate visits when ever possible [Back to top]
Frequently Asked Questions