Thousands of Bibb County homeowners will get a revaluation notice in the coming days. This year’s assessments are different from last year’s, however. Most of the revalued property is going down in value, which could mean lower tax bills.
Board of Assessors Chairman Bill Vaughn said officials expect to get 8,000 to 10,000 valuation notices mailed by May 28. Most of those will cover about 18 neighborhoods where property values were lower Jan. 1, 2010, than they were for Jan. 1, 2009. A final list of the neighborhoods has not been set.
Not surprisingly, Vaughn said he expects that few of those homeowners will appeal the lower valuations.
Andrea Crutchfield, the chief appraiser, said most of the revaluations will result in a 5- to 10-percent drop in value.
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“Most of them, we were fairly close,” Crutchfield told county commissioners Tuesday. “There were not any big reductions.”
Vaughn said the assessors’ sales data showed that prices in those neighborhoods had sagged for the 2010 revaluation but was accurate for the 2009 revaluation.
The board of assessors will probably vote on the revaluations Friday, but assessments will take about a week to be printed and mailed. Owners will have 30 days to appeal the new values.
Vaughn said valuations could go up in a small proportion of cases due to new construction or property that sold in the past year. The county is now under a statewide moratorium that prevents widespread property valuation increases.
Last year’s contentious revaluation — the first successful effort in eight years — drew more than 17,000 appeals on the county’s roughly 68,000 properties. Of those appeals, the final 33 are scheduled to be heard by the Board of Equalization on June 2 and June 3. Another 186 have been sent to a later appeals stage with Bibb County Superior Court.
Asked by commissioners Tuesday, Crutchfield said property owners with concerns about their valuations should call her office. It’s too late to appeal 2009 valuations, and not everyone will be able to appeal the 2010 valuations, she said.
Beginning next year, a new state law will force the county each year to mail out valuation statements to all owners, which could lead more owners to appeal more often. Vaughn said the assessors are requesting budget increases to cover employees to work the appeals and to handle higher postage costs.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.