Columbia County to send out property assessments in August

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Columbia County tax officials said today they won’t be sending out property assessment notices until mid-August, which is about three months later than normal.

County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen announced this morning that the Tax Assessor’s Office will send out the notices on Aug. 14. Typically, those notices are sent during the second week of May.

The delay was caused by the passing of House Bill 233, which imposes a moratorium on property assessment increases for the next three years. However, the law, enacted this year, does not freeze the value of properties that decrease in value. Properties sold during the moratorium period are taxed at their moratorium value, unless improvements are made to the property.

To reconcile these changes, an extensive software upgrade became necessary and tax officials were unable to send out the notices by May.

Once the assessment notices are mailed, the Tax Commissioner’s Office must wait 45 days – the time allotted for homeowner’s to appeal the assessment – before sending out tax bills. The law allows property owners 60 days to pay the bill.

Jan. 15 will be the deadline to pay tax bills.

School system expenses, which includes payroll and utilities, total about $15 million each month.

Superintendent Charles Nagle told the school board last month that it might consider a more than $20 million loan to keep the school system operational while awaiting the tax revenues.

Now that he knows the date when notices will be sent to property owners, Mr. Nagle said he hopes such a large loan won’t become necessary.

“If we get a good collection response by the first of December, we could be OK,” Mr. Nagle said in an e-mail. “If we have a need to borrow, it may only be half of our first projections. I think we will have a better picture by mid-August.”

County Administrator Steve Szablewski said it is unlikely commissioners will need to consider a loan to keep the government running.

All Georgia governments without an imposed cap on the millage rate, like Richmond County, must adhere to the new law.

Tax Calendar

Aug. 14: Property assessment notices mailed

Sept. 28: Deadline to file an appeal of property value

Oct. 19: Millage rate rollback hearings for Grovetown and Harlem

Oct. 20: Millage rate rollback hearings for the county and school board

Oct. 26: Final millage rate rollback hearing for Grovetown and Harlem

Oct. 27: Final millage rate rollback hearing for county and school board

Nov. 6: Property tax bills mailed

Jan. 15: Deadline to pay property tax

The delay might force school officials to seek millions of dollars in loans to keep the school system afloat while they await the tax revenues.

County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen announced this morning that the Tax Assessor’s Office will send out the notices on Aug. 14. Typically, those notices are sent during the second week of May.

Officials said the delay was caused by the passing of House Bill 233, which imposes a moratorium on property assessment increases for the next two years. However, the law, enacted this year, does not freeze the value of properties that decrease in value. Also, properties sold during the moratorium period are taxed at their actual value, not the frozen value, officials said.

To reconcile these changes, an extensive software upgrade became necessary and tax officials were unable to send out the notices by May.

Once the assessment notices are mailed, the Tax Commissioner’s Office must wait 45 days – the time allotted for homeowner’s to appeal the assessment – before sending out tax bills. The law allows property owners 60 days to pay the bill.

Jan. 15 will be the deadline to pay tax bills.

School system expenses, which include payroll and utilities, total about $15 million each month.

Superintendent Charles Nagle told the school board last month that it might need to consider a more than $20 million loan to keep the school system operational while awaiting the tax revenues.

Now that he knows the date when notices will be sent to property owners, Mr. Nagle said he hopes such a large loan won’t become necessary.

“If we get a good collection response by the first of December, we could be OK,” Mr. Nagle said in an e-mail. “If we have a need to borrow, it may only be half of our first projections. I think we will have a better picture by mid-August.”

County Administrator Steve Szablewski said it is unlikely commissioners will need to consider a loan to keep the government running.

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Tax Calendar

Aug. 14: Property assessment notices mailed

Sept. 28: Deadline to file an appeal of property value

Oct. 19: Millage rate rollback hearings for Grovetown and Harlem

Oct. 20: Millage rate rollback hearings for the county and school board

Oct. 26: Final millage rate rollback hearing for Grovetown and Harlem

Oct. 27: Final millage rate rollback hearing for county and school board

Nov. 6: Property tax bills mailed

Jan. 15: Deadline to pay property tax

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froggy1
18
Points
froggy1 07/14/09 - 01:22 pm
0
0
It was a big mistake to put

It was a big mistake to put Perdue in office!!!!!

aaa
2
Points
aaa 07/14/09 - 01:28 pm
0
0
Okay - but what does this

Okay - but what does this mean? I don't get it. If values are frozen and there are no prop tax assessment increases, then isn't this good news?

Ode
5
Points
Ode 07/14/09 - 01:29 pm
0
0
Try blaming the legislature

Try blaming the legislature who drafted and passed the bill. Learn how government works.

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