COWETA COUNTY TO BEGIN REVALUATION OF RESIDENTIAL AND AGRICULTURAL PROPERTIES
At the March 21st meeting, the Coweta County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the needed paperwork to begin revaluation of approximately 54,000 residential and agricultural parcels, about 95% of the total parcels in the County.
Commercial and Industrial parcels received a revaluation in 2014.
The last county-wide, door-to-door revaluation of residential and agricultural properties was last conducted for tax year 1991. A “schedule revaluation” for these properties was last performed for tax year 2001. A “schedule revaluation” is when underlying data (schedules, cost per sq. ft., etc.) is updated without a door-to-door inspection of physical characteristics.
The revaluation process is expected to take up to 24 months to complete. Implementation is set for tax year 2020.
The state of Georgia Department of Revenue makes sure Coweta County keeps appraisals in compliance with the law. “County boards of tax assessors are required by the State Constitution and state law to continuously maintain assessments of property that are reasonably uniform and that are based on fair market value as defined…the Department is required by law to periodically review the county’s digests to assure they are in compliance…”
Our tax digest is reviewed for compliance every three years. Failure to meet statistical requirements can trigger penalties. Current penalties include the potential for a $5.00 per parcel (at current parcel count almost $300,000.00) penalty and the possibility of not being able to collect taxes until compliance is achieved.
Revaluations are an expensive and time-consuming process. There is typically no need to perform a revaluation more than every ten to fifteen years or so. The extended time between the last door-to-door revaluation in 1991 and now results from the fact that about the time the County was gearing up for a new Residential and Agricultural project in 2008/2009, the economy crashed. It has taken the time since then for our economy to recover.
Your property value could increase as a result of this process, especially if you have not seen a change for many years, however, this does not mean your taxes will increase, they may, but they may not. The County is required to adopt a revenue-neutral millage rate for “inflationary growth”, an increase in value not initiated by a property owner. Only new “real growth” generates new tax dollars. Real growth is an increase in value initiated by the property owner such as building or remodeling a home, adding a pool, finishing a basement, etc.
The process will be handled by GMASS, Georgia Mass Appraisal Solutions & Services. All GMASS appraisers will be required to wear a Coweta County issued identification badge with their name and photo. All vehicles used by GMASS appraisers will have door sign which includes the Coweta County logo and identifies them as Contractor/Appraiser. GMASS appraisers will knock on the door/ring bell before commencing appraisal. If you are still not sure, call the Tax Assessors office at 770.254.2680 to confirm.
You can ask the appraiser to leave your property, however, state law gives the chief assessor or designee the right to “go upon the property outside of buildings, posted or otherwise, in order to carry out the duty of making appraisals…”. Appraisers will ask questions regarding the interior finish in order to make the best determination of value, but cannot enter without your approval. Should you decide not to cooperate, a value will still be developed for your property, but the likelihood that the value would be incorrect is increased.
Should you not agree with your appraisal, you can always file an appeal within 45 days of the notice date.
A printed version will be available at the Tax Assessors office located at 37 Perry Street in Newnan.
DOWNLOAD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) ABOUT THIS PROCESS (PDF)
FOR MORE INFO:
Mike Marchese, Chief Appraiser / Director Coweta County Board of Assessors
770-254-2680 x 8953