The Citizen's Stand
A funny thing happened on the way back from the mail box last week.
In the worst recession this country has endured in recent memory, at a time when real estate sales have dropped to record lows, many Morgan County tax payers last week were given the good news.
Your property is worth more now than it was last year. This, of course, comes on the heels of a county–wide tax evaluation that saw some assessed property values rising by more than 50 percent.
Morgan County Chief Tax Assessor Chuck Anglin said this week that overall property values in Morgan County rose a small 2.75 percent. He also said that the office is controlled by state guidelines by how and what it can deem as an appreciable increase in property value. Several factors come into play, Anglin said. The rise of foreclosures in Morgan County (we estimate the foreclosure rate has more than doubled in the last six months) won’t affect property values until 2010, Anglin said.
And we believe him. We also believe that the unlucky few that received higher property tax assessments have a right to appeal. So far more than 100 have chosen to do so and, Anglin suggests, many more will file an appeal before the July 20 deadline.
Do it. It’s your right not only to appeal but also to find some clear reasoning on why, pray tell, what you owned last year is suddenly worth more.
It’s your right to be heard, gentle taxpayers.
Several months ago there was a concerted effort to bring to light the despair citizens were feeling regarding federal taxation. We applauded the effort and applaud it now.
But maybe where the protest should begin is at home. Maybe if the guidelines are set through the magnanimous state government then we should march there.
Maybe thousands of protestors with signs outside the Georgia Dome would make a difference in property tax policy. Maybe someone would listen.
But it’s doubtful. Property taxes are the cash cow of local government. Without that guaranteed source of revenue, the system, including our local schools, fire and police protection and municipal governments, would fail.
It’s a revenue source worth protecting, and legislators understand that.
But do appeal, if you feel slighted. At least you can bring the protest home to Morgan County.