Struggle to predict future prices
By Stephanie Johns
Chuck Anglin, chief appraiser for the Morgan County Board of Assessors, shared details of his sales ratio study during the last work session of the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC).
He compared home assessments he completed in 2011–up to the valuation date of Jan. 1, 2012–to homes he has assessed from Jan. 2 to present day.
He explained that every year, the Georgia Department of Audits does a sales ratio study Jan. 1. It compares Anglin’s property values to the actual sales price of those properties in the previous year.
The basic purpose of this study is to equalize the tax digest as it pertains to educational funding, known as Quality Basic Education (QBE).
Anglin later explained that QBE equalizes the funds available for all county school systems in the state. Some counties have to pay to equalize the digest; these tend to be the counties with a higher tax base. Some counties receive funds to equalize the digest; these tend to be the counties with the lower tax bases.
“That’s what it’s for: to equalize the tax digest,” he said.
The secondary purpose is for the Department of Revenue to use these results to check for compliance.
In 2010 Senate Bill 346 was passed making an “arm’s length bonafide sale” the maximum value for taxation. Based on this new way of determining taxes, Anglin must assess a home for what it will sell for and not for how much value it has based on the local housing market.
He showed those present a map of the counties in Georgia and noted that 50 counties, including Morgan, were out of compliance based on sales in the future.
“There’s no way for me to predict that I think it’s worth $100,000 on Jan. 1 that it could sell for $150,000 or even $50,000 on Nov. 5,” he said. “This will trigger noncompliance and fines.”
Anglin asked the BOC for permission to develop a position statement for the county, get their endorsement, and present it to Clint Mueller, legislative director at the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG).
The BOC agreed and Chairwoman Ellen Warren apologized to Anglin for the “impossible situation” he was in.
Printed in the September 27, 2012 edition