Resolution of appeals could stretch to spring

Bibb County taxpayers are batting .243, winning one quarter of appeals filed with the Board of Equalization, which is hearing appeals of property valuations.

Those numbers don’t reflect all appeals, because some cases could have been adjusted or dropped even before they were sent on to the Board of Equalization. Chief Appraiser Andrea Crutchfield said most of the successful appeals have been based on a problem with a property, such as a crack in a foundation.

Statistics show the Board of Equalization turned down 370 appeals and changed valuations in 155. Another 113 appeals were withdrawn by owners before they were heard by the board. Crutchfield said many of the successful appeals were made with interior photographs not shown before to assessors.

Separately, Crutchfield said Board of Assessors staff have processed some 7,000 appeals for the Board of Equalization. At this rate, the staff may reach the halfway point in the next two weeks. Crutchfield said she didn’t know if her office would be able to finish working on all the appeals — some 16,800 — this year. Holidays will interfere.

“We’re going to do our best to get finished by the end of the year,” she said.

Several potential layers of appeals, notifications and waiting periods mean the entire process could stretch into spring.

Bibb County tax bills based on the new valuations were mailed out a month ago. The first payment, of at least half, is due Friday. Property owners who are appealing increased valuations will pay a discounted rate. Final tax bills, including any refunds or demands for further payment, may be mailed next spring.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.