Tax notices delayed…again

Grady County property owners looking for their assessment notices in the mail will have a little longer to wait, according to Chief Appraiser Susan Bennett of the Grady County Tax Assessors Office.
Mrs. Bennett had hoped the notices would be mailed last Wednesday, but at the last moment an error was discovered in the printed notices.
Because of the changes to state law by the General Assembly, Governmental Systems, Inc., of Macon, which is the vendor used by the assessors to prepare the assessment notices, had to rewrite the software to publish the tax notices.
In that rewrite, Mrs. Bennett says, the previous $8,000 Homeowner’s Tax Relief Credit was included when it no longer is valid. This caused the notices to reflect an assessment that was lower than what the current law requires.
According to Mrs. Bennett, GSI officials are making the revisions to the software and expect to be able to mail the notices this Friday, May 6.
Once the notices are mailed, taxpayers will have up to 45 days to appeal their property values if they so choose.
This is the second delay in mailing the notices. Previously, the required address correction notice was not included on the envelopes containing the assessment notices and that prevented the notices from being mailed sooner.
The news that the notices have been delayed again was a concern to county commissioners who have been in Savannah since Friday attending the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia annual conference.
“I guess we will talk about it Wednesday. It’s going to put us way behind on getting the digest and being able to formalize our 2012 budget,” Commission Chairman Charles Norton said Monday.
County Administrator Rusty Moye said he is “disappointed with the third party vendor used by the tax assessors office.”
Moye says this latest delay will put him and the county commission at least a month behind in budget preparations and planning.
“It will probably be July 1 before we get the digest if the notices go out Friday,” Moye said.
The General Assembly changed the law to require counties to mail assessment notices to all taxpayers even if their values declined. Previously, notices were only required to be mailed to taxpayers whose values increased.
Chairman Norton has described the new law placing the burden to mail the additional notices on the county level as “stupid.”

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