Bill McWhorter, Floyd County’s chief appraiser, said that he has budgeted a full week to hear the 75 appeals. That’s right at half of the total number of properties, 148, included in the downtown district.
A state audit of the 2012 property assessments has been completed and McWhorter said his office has not received the results of that study yet. “Once that report is done it has to go to the revenue commissioner. It’s got to go to legal. You know it’s got to go to several places,” McWhorter said.
The chief appraiser said the impact of the appeals will not likely have a great impact on the bottom-line countywide tax digest. “I don’t know off the top of my head but it’s not that much,” McWhorter said.
McWhorter said each of the Broad Street business owners would get approximately 20 minutes to state their case.
Don Ash, owner of Estate Planners of Georgia, 329 Broad St., appealed his assessment, which jumped 44 percent from $182,980 to $263,900, an increase of $80,920. I can’t imagine them going that much on some of them,” Ash said. “I wish that I could go get a loan for the amount they‘re saying it’s worth. I don’t see it, no way.”
Pam McAbee, owner of the Top Hat Formal Wear & Bridal, 245 Broad St., is also appealing. Her assessment went up from $228,890 to $314,780, a 38 percent increase. “We moved into this building seven years ago and haven’t done anything appreciable. If anything, property values have gone down,” said McAbee. “What does it hurt to try?”
Lee Hampton, owner of Lee’s Furniture at 206-208 Broad St., saw a similar increase, from $221,960 to $310,240, a little over $88,000, 40 percent, but chose not to appeal. “I thought it was raking the downtown merchants over the coals,” Hampton said. “I didn’t like it, but you can’t appeal just because you don’t like.”
According to the preliminary assessment, the value of the downtown properties went up by 29 percent from 2011-2012. Only 10 properties showed a decline in value, and 22 were unchanged from one year to the next, which means that 116 properties showed increases.
Nine properties had their assessments increase by more than 50 percent, the largest being the 73 percent increase at 246 Broad St., the building owned by Hal Ruland and Hans Van Eikeren, from $269,150 in 2011 to $464,500 in 2012.
In 2011, six properties were valued at more than $1 million while this year that number jumped to nine. The assessors report that the Wells Fargo Bank building at 501 Broad St. is the most valuable on the Broad Street corridor, at $2.28 million.
Click here to link to the Floyd County Tax Commissioner's Office website.