The Bryan County Tax Assessor’s Office said Friday that assessment notices are now being mailed to property owners whose property has had a change in value.
According to the tax assessor’s office, most people’s property values are frozen thanks to HB 233. The state bill was put into effect to help lessen taxpayers’ burden in a weak economy.
The assessment notices some Bryan County property owners will receive state that property values are frozen at 2008 values for 2009, 2010 and 2011, "unless the property has been added, removed, modified or unreported or pre-existing property has been reported."
For instance, if a homeowner adds a boat dock to their property, that would change its value.
Or if a property owner splits their acreage that would also affect their property value, according to the tax assessor’s office.
Property owners with values that haven’t changed won’t receive assessment notices.
Those with changes in value have 45 days from receiving their notice in the mail to appeal the assessment.
Then, the tax assessor will mail out a second round of assessment notices to those people who decide to appeal their assessments.
These residents have 21 days from receiving their second notices to appeal their assessed property values to the Board of Equalization.
After this process is complete, the tax assessor will ready the tax digest for submittal to the state, so that Bryan County, the cities of Pembroke and Richmond Hill, and the Bryan County school system, can set their millage rates.
According to the Bryan County Tax Assessor’s office, the tax digest won’t be ready for submittal to the state for about two months.
Byran County Administrator Phil Jones said the tax digest process is on schedule because Bryan County’s fiscal year will begin on Jan.1, 2010.
"We (county officials) would want anyone who has to make an appeal make those appeals so we can get the tax bills out as soon as possible," Jones said Friday.
Bryan County tax bills normally go out in October, he said. Taxpayers then have 60 days to pay their property taxes.
They Bryan County Board of Commissioners is currently drafting a general fund budget for 2010.
"We have to know what our general budget is before we set a millage rate," Jones said. "The commission may not approve a budget right off, but they’ll know what it’s going to be.
"We don’t anticipate any problems (with the tax digest) at this point," Jones added.