Mailing of tax notices delayed

The mailing of assessment notices to all Grady County taxpayers has been delayed, according to County Administrator Rusty Moye.
Moye told The Messenger that the vendor under contract with the Tax Assessors Office was prepared to mail out the notices Friday when Chief Appraiser Susan Bennett discovered that the mailing did not include proper return address and address correction notices.
John Berry of Governmental Systems, Inc., which prepared the notices for the county, had to reorder materials and Ms. Bennett hopes the notices will be mailed this Friday, April 22.
Georgia law changed this year and requires that all taxpayers receive a tax assessment notice whether their value increased or decreased. In the past notices were only required to be mailed to property owners whose values were being increased.
Moye says the county may still be able to submit its tax digest to the Georgia Department of Revenue by August 1 even with the week delay in mailing the notices.
“We may have to compress our internal schedule somewhat,” Moye said. He said that county commissioners cannot really begin serious discussions and formulate the 2012 operating budget until the notices have been sent and the 45-day appeals process is concluded.
Taxpayers will have 45 days from the date assessment notices are issued in which to appeal their values. Once the appeals process ends only then can Ms. Bennett present county leaders with the tax digest.
“Hopefully we will have some good numbers to look at around June 8,” Moye said.
The assessment notice county taxpayers will soon receive will also include a projected total of taxes due based on the current millage rate.
Ms. Bennett told county commissioners two weeks ago that approximately 90 percent of the county’s taxable parcels will be adjusted downward by varying percentages.
Depending on just how much the county’s tax digest shrinks, an ad valorem millage rate hike could be necessary in order to fund the operations of the county and the county board of education.
On Tuesday night, commissioners officially approved up to $10,000 for the printing and mailing of the tax assessment notices to county taxpayers.

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