When it comes to personal taxes, however, all talk about "our kids need better funded schools go out of the window". It is clear that these tax payers don't want to pay the county or school board not a dime more than they are required to pay.
DeKalb: Most property values haven’t fallen
Residents stunned that their homes are keeping 2008 values even in high foreclosure areas
In Fayette County
Property tax notices are getting closer to your mailboxes. The question on the minds of many is whether the county’s assessment values will increase or decrease.
Fayette County Tax Assessor Joel Benton said Monday there will likely be no significant change from last year’s gross digest of $5.7 billion.
While not attempting to forecast whether the tax digest due in August will go up or down, Benton said that only minor construction activity was evidenced in 2008, upon which the 2009 digest is based.
He added that home sale values in Fayette retained a better fair market value than in many other areas in metro Atlanta. Whatever the change in the digest may be, it will likely not be a large fluctuation from last year, he said.
“The only increase will be new construction and additions, and that’s not a lot,” Benton said. “After reviewing the fair market sales, our value looks pretty good. Fayette has been a little more protected given the sales we’ve seen and we haven’t been as affected (by declining home values) as some of the metro counties. Fayette County weathered this storm better than most others in 2008.”
Asked if his office had been contacted by the cities, county and school board for which the tax digest is critical to budget discussions, Benton said he has received general questions about how things are looking, with tax levying entities wondering if there will be much difference over last year.
Noting the “return of value” filed by approximately 3,500 property owners over concerns that their property had decreased in value, Benton said the considerations of those filings by assessors are on track to be completed by early May. Benton said property tax notices should be going out on schedule in May, with the anticipation that the tax digest will be approved by the first week in August.
Explaining the process, Benton said if property owners that submitted the “return of value” do not agree with assessor’s opinion they have the right to file an appeal. If not satisfied with that decision they can appeal to the Board of Equalization. If still not in agreement they can have their case heard in Superior Court.
Asked about the upcoming tax digest, school Superintendent John DeCotis said Monday his office had called the tax assessor’s office and was in a wait-and-see mode. DeCotis said he expected the digest to decrease this year, though he did not speculate about the extent of the decrease.