A group of Lake Tobesofkee property owners who asked for a fresh look on their tax assessments wound up causing higher tax bills for some of their neighbors.
Those Tobesofkee revaluations were some of the final ones completed by tax assessors staff members, who have now finished their part of last year’s contentious revaluation.
The Macon-Bibb County Tax Assessors Office and the Bibb County Tax Commissioner’s Office started combining their files last Thursday, Chief Assessor Andrea Crutchfield said. Most of the county’s property tax appeals have been completed to the end of the appeals process. About one in five of the appeals — about 3,400 of the 17,071 appeals filed last summer — is still under way.
Crutchfield said her staff has finished their work on all of them.
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Most of the remaining appeals are before the Boards of Equalization. The owners of 128 properties have appealed to Superior Court, but only one of those cases has been heard and decided.
About 115 revaluations were done two weeks ago on Lake Tobesofkee properties, Crutchfield said. Most of those increased in value, typically because the first valuation hadn’t properly recorded that lakefront property was actually on the lake. Three of those property owners have filed appeals, though the others still have two weeks to decide, she said.
Tom Stevens, a leader of Bibb County Concerned Citizens for Fair Property Tax Appraisal, which draws much of its membership from around the lake, didn’t apologize for his neighbors’ higher valuations.
“Sorry, but we want fair, equitable taxation,” Stevens said. “We don’t want anybody paying any more or less than they should.”
Stevens said Wednesday that he still disagrees with lakefront assessments. After several rounds of revaluations, his home is now valued at about $92,000, but it sits on a lot valued at what he says is a far-off $140,000, he said.
“If they’re making all these changes, doesn’t that imply they weren’t right in the first place?” he said.
Crutchfield said most of the Lake Tobesofkee homeowners who recently received the higher assessments probably knew there was a mistake with their original assessments. Pat Fallin, who leads the assessors’ residential division, said Wednesday she had not received any calls from outraged residents, though she did get calls of concern.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.