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The basis for an appeal are: Value, Uniformity, Taxability, Exemption Denied, Breach of Covenant or Denial of Covenant. You may appeal to the Board of Equalization or * Arbitration: to arbitration without an appeal to the superior court. (valuation is the only grounds that my be appealed to arbitration.) or *Hearing Officer: for a parcel of nonhomestead property with a FMV in excess of $1 million, to a hearing officer with appeal to superior court (value and uniformity only) or *SC: Directly to Superior Court (requires consent of BOA) (any/all grounds) *Additional Cost /Fees may apply
When you file an appeal, the Board of Assessors/Property Appraisers reviews the property and determines whether a change in the valuation is warranted. If no change is made the property owner is then sent a notice that no change has been made and the appeal will then go to the next level of appeal process, which is, the Board of Equalization. Its specific function is to hear unresolved appeals from taxpayers. After hearing both the assessors and the property owners position, the Board of Equalization renders a decision on the valuation.
If either side disagrees with the decision of the Board of Equalization, the property owner or the assessor may proceed to the next level of appeal, Charlton County Superior Court.
However, if a change is made to the property value or exemption a 30 day notice is mailed to the property owner. The property owner must file in writing an appeal if they still disagree with the decision of the Board of Assessors and the appeal process will continue as stated above.
All appeals concerning real property, personal property or manufactured homes are received by the Assessors Office.
Property taxes are charged against the owner of the property of January 1st, and against the property itself if the owner is not known. Property tax returns are to be filed between January 1st and April 1st with the county assessor's office.
FAIR MARKET VALUEThe Assessors are charged with establishing the fair market value of the taxable real and personal properties in Charlton County. Fair market value means "the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm's length, bona fide sale."The Board of Assessors does not create property values. Assessors and appraisers merely interpret what is happening in the market place. The appraised value is simply the estimate of what the property is worth.
APPRAISAL PROCEDURESThe Assessors use standard approaches in setting the value on all real and personal property. There are three approaches to value:
• COST APPROACH: The cost approach uses actual replacement cost of the building, less general depreciation, plus the value of the land.
• MARKET APPROACH: The market approach involves analyzing sales of similar properties to predict the likely selling price of unsold properties.
• INCOME APPROACH: The income approach is used for income-producing properties. It involves capitalizing the net income to arrive at a probable selling price for the property.
SPECIAL ASSESSMENT PROGRAMSThere are special assessment programs available to taxpayers. These special programs include:
PREFERENTIAL AGRICULTURAL PROPERTYBona fide agricultural property can be assessed at 75 percent of the assessment of other property. This means that this type of property is assessed at 30 percent of fair market value rather than 40 percent. Property that qualifies for this special assessment must be maintained in its current use for a period of ten years.CONSERVATION USE PROPERTYBona fide agricultural property can be assessed at its current use value rather than the fair market value. Property that qualifies for this special assessment must be maintained in a current use for a period of ten years.ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE PROPERTYProperty can be assessed at its current use value rather than the fair market value when such property is maintained in its natural condition and meets the requirements set by the Department of Natural Resources. Property that qualifies for this special assessment must be maintained in a current use for a period of ten years.RESIDENTIAL TRANSITIONAL PROPERTYProperty can be assessed at its current use value, rather than fair market value, when it is used for residential purposes but located in an area that is changing to, or being developed for, a use other than residential.TIMBERStanding timber is not taxed until sold or harvested, at which time it is taxed based upon 100 percent of its fair market value. There are three types of sales and harvests that are taxable: • lump sum sales where the timber is sold at a specific price regardless of volume • unit price sales where the timber is sold or harvested based on a specific price per volume • owner harvests where a land owner harvests his own timber and sells it by volume.
EQUIPMENT, MACHINERY, AND FIXTURESEquipment, machinery, and fixtures are assessed at 40 percent of fair market value. The tax assessor may value the equipment, machinery, and fixtures of a going business to reflect the fair market value of the business as a whole. When no ready market exists for the sale of equipment, machinery, and fixtures, a fair market value may be determined by resorting to any reasonable, relevant, and useful information available. This information may include, but is not limited to, the original cost of the property, depreciation or obsolescence, and any increase in value by reason of inflation. Other determining factors include: • existing zoning of property • existing use of property • existing covenant or restrictions in deed dedicating the property to a particular use • any other important factors.
Assessors have access to any public records in order to discover such information.
To become a chamber member, you must fill out the membership application and return it with your annual investment. For a fillable .pdf application, click here.
Chief Judge Dwayne Gillis101 S. Peterson AveDouglas, Georgia 31533912-384-0587
Judge Mike DeVane800 Church Street Suite B-202Waycross, GA 31501912-287-4330
Judge Jeff Kight312 Nichols StreetBlackshear, GA 31516912-449-2220
Judge J. Kelly Brooks3794 Main StreetFolkston, GA 31537
3794 Main StreetFolkston, GA 31537912-496-2567
If you use one of the local ministers, there is a fee ranging from $40 to $60 payable to the minister. If you use your own minister, you would need to provide the minister's credentials.