Richmond County's aerial photo finds fewer new taxable properties than expected

Some homeowners with secret swimming pools and garages unknown to Richmond County Chief Appraiser Alveno Ross might get a reprieve this year.


Ross, who earlier predicted up to $1 million in new revenue from property additions discovered using new software, said because of time and money constraints the additions aren’t as numerous as his office hoped to find.

The Augusta Commission leapt on the prospect of new taxable property when trying to fill a $6.3 million budget gap earlier this year, despite protests of Commissioner Jerry Brigham, who called the potential revenue “Monopoly money.”

The additions, discoverable with software that compares year-to-year aerial images, promised up to $1 million in new taxable property that won’t trigger a roll-back, or lowering of tax rates because property assessments grew.

Ross said his office could potentially have found more additions if it had been funded for the software before mid-January.

“I’m sure my numbers would have been better,” he said.

Overall the news – much of which will arrive in 77,500 real property assessment notices being mailed Friday – is good for Augusta.

Ross said unlike some Georgia jurisdictions whose tax digests continue to shrink in the recession, Augusta has added about 300 new parcels and added about $154 million to the city’s nearly $12 billion tax digest, although the digest is far from being finalized.

Of the 77,500 parcels, roughly 4,800 increased in value and 5,900 decreased, Ross said.

This is the second year of implementation of Georgia Senate Bill 346, which requires all property owners to be issued annual assessment notices before the arrival of tax bills later this year.



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