Tuesday, May 16, 2023–4:38 p.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
The Floyd County Board of Assessors has started mailing out 2023 assessment notices, and a number of property owners are reporting that their property values have gone up, in some cases dramatically.
According to Chief Appraiser Danny Womack, the board of assessors is mandated by state law to be at or as close as possible to market values. The state performs an audit each year and there are stiff penalties for failing to follow those market values.
“It was another year where the market has increased,” Womack said. “We know people have seen an increase, but we are obligated to have these values where they should be.”
The assessments are based on sales from the previous year.
In addition to listing the current property value, the assessment also includes an anticipated property tax. That, according to Womack, is what is causing the “sticker shock.” Although the tax is a derivative of the market value of the property, the assessment and the tax bill that goes out in August are two separate things.
Womack added there is an appeals process for any property owner who believes their assessment is incorrect.
“If they truly believe we have made an error in the value, we would love to talk with them,” he said. “We have worked really hard to improve the relationship between the taxpayer and the assessor’s office.”
Appeals must be received or postmarked by the “Last date to file an appeal” date listed at the top of the assessment.
“Be prepared to state the reason or the grounds for the appeal, and an asserted value, which is your opinion of value, because, obviously, if you disagree with our value, then you have a value in mind,” Womack said. “That’s also important from the Georgia Department of Revenue’s perspective because they need to know how much of that value is in dispute.”
Appeal forms are available for download from the Department of Revenue’s website at dor.ga.gov. Those wanting to appeal can also go by the board of assessor’s office and they will have a form with a lot of the property owner’s information already filled out. The board of assessor’s office is located in the Historic Floyd County Courthouse at 4 Government Plaza in Rome. The phone number is (706) 291‑5143. You can also get more information at floydcountyga.gov/assessor.
Keep in mind, the estimated tax is not a ground for appeal, only the assessed value of the property. The sole purpose of the board of assessors is to establish the market value for each property. They do not set tax rates or the estimated tax.
Both the Rome City and Floyd County Commissions enacted homestead freezes, under which, if market values of homestead properties increase, the homestead exemption will increase in an equal amount. The frozen value stays in place until the property is sold or a new deed is filed on the property. However, the freeze does not apply to school taxes.
Womack explains the process in a couple of videos that you can view below.