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5,100 property value appeals filed in Bibb — so far

Bibb County property owners continue to contest the recent property revaluation, with about 5,100 appeals filed as of Wednesday.

With 12 days left to appeal, what that means for the timely completion of the tax digest is still unknown.

The county must have fewer than 5 percent of the tax digest’s total value or fewer than 5 percent of the total number of parcels under appeal before the digest can be submitted to the state around August for approval.

Bibb already has exceeded the allowed number of outstanding appeals, but it has not exceeded the allowed value yet, said Bill Vaughn, chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Board of Tax Assessors.

“As far as us staying below that 5 percent of value, I’d be surprised, but maybe it’s possible,” Vaughn said.

Assessors already have planned for a large number of appeals. They have five Boards of Equalization — the maximum number allowed for a county Bibb’s size — in waiting.

Those boards, independent bodies comprised of three people that hear appeals, can work about 3,200 appeals per month, Vaughn said.

During the failed 2006 property revaluation that generated more than 18,000 total appeals, about 5,500 appeals had been filed at about this time in the process. That revaluation eventually was thrown out. Vaughn said he didn’t know if or how that correlates to this year.

“I don’t know what the circumstances were” in 2006, he said.

About 8,000 appeals were made in 2001, the year of the last successful countywide property revaluation.

Assessors signed off on value changes for about 10 commercial properties at their Wednesday meeting. They likely won’t sign off on changes for any residential properties until after the appeals period ends, so they can look at the changes by neighborhood, Chief Appraiser Andrea Crutchfield said.

The tax assessors office continues to see 150 to 250 property owners each day, and Vaughn said he was encouraged by the process.

“I think it’s working good — the fact that we’re getting those appointments in advance and people don’t have to wait,” he said.

The tax assessors office will be closed July 3 for the Independence Day holiday. Appeals must be turned in to the office or postmarked by July 6.

“Anything else we can’t accept,” Crutchfield said.

To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 744-4345.

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