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Deadline for filing property reassessment appeals approaching

As of Tuesday, 115 property owners had filed for reassessment appeals in McDuffie County.

The deadline for filing appeals is Monday, Aug. 13. All appeals must be U.S. postmarked by 5 p.m. on that date to qualify for appeals processing, according to McDuffie County Chief Tax Appraiser Kathleen Perry.

"Right now, it's looking good," Mrs. Perry said last Friday, during the monthly meeting of the McDuffie County Board of Tax Assessors. "We don't expect to be flooded, but then again, I don't like projecting. I don't like testing fate."

The McDuffie County Board of Tax Assessors consists of Chairwoman Ruby Harbin, Vice-Chairman Bob Ballard and Rick Murphy.

Mr. Ballard, who is retired from Georgia Power Company, has served on the board for a number of years, was re-appointed to serve another six years following a vote by county commissioners last week.

Reassessment notices were mailed out several weeks ago to a total of 11,428 property owners in the county, Mrs. Perry said. A total of 93.4 percent of the county's property owners received the notices by letter about a month ago.

"I think it's pretty incredible that we're not over one-percent," she noted. "Three weeks ago, we weren't even at the half-percent mark."

The majority of complaints registered thus far with personnel in her office are from property owners contending that they are on fixed incomes and won't be able to pay additional taxes.

The reassessment notices that property owners recently received are a result of an analysis that revealed local market sales falling outside the range of acceptable levels when it comes to property assessments, Mrs. Perry said.

In another unrelated matter, Mrs. Perry informed tax assessor board members that she was pleased to have had the office parking lot redone.

"We had needed something done with our parking lot for a long time," Mrs. Perry said.

Mr. Murphy, a retired banker, said he likes the angle parking spaces. "It's a nice improvement."

Mrs. Perry noted that Chris Pelly, county director of roads and bridges, "made the arrangements" for the parking lot to be re-asphalted.

In other business, Mrs. Perry informed board members that Mark Lloyd is now the new agent with the Georgia Department of Revenue for McDuffie County and other counties.

Mrs. Perry also said commissioners recently passed a new budget for fiscal year 2008 and allowed the part-time help she had requested for the office.

"We really need the extra help," she said.

Mrs. Perry said she will have to discuss the cuts made for continuing education for staff members.

"I'm sure we'll work it out someway," she said, explaining that she would discuss the matter with McDuffie County Manager Don Norton.

In personnel notes, Deborah Garrison was congratulated by Mrs. Perry and board members for having worked in the county tax assessor's office for 30 years.

Jenna Nicholson, meanwhile, was announced as a new administrative clerk in the office, while Gloria Whitfield was named a new part-time administrative clerk.

Web posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007

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