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Assessors handle unusual appeal

The Lamar County tax assessors board ran up on an unusual appeal at its Jan. 6 meeting ‘“ for a vehicle. Records indicate it is the first such appeal the board has handled. Automobile appeals are done like any other ad valorem tax appeal, though the values are set by Georgia, not the assessors. ’Typically people don’t appeal because they come from the state,’ said chief appraiser Linda Mayo. ‘If it continues I’ll get with some auto dealers to do appraisals for us.’ Mayo said in 12 years she has never done an auto appeal. Former assessor Jeannie Haddock appealed a $17,950 value for her 2007 Dodge Durango. She cited Kelly’s Blue Book values of about $12,000. Mayo’s research revealed values of $12,000 to $17,000, including private and commercial resale and the Blue Book. She was asked to provide retail values for a decision to be reached in February. ’We’re going to set a precedent,’ said chairman James Butler. ‘I want to know where the state gets its values from.’ Meanwhile, assessors approved a 21-day appeal letter to be sent to Haddock, who has paid on a set value and received her tag decal. Should the appeal be turned down, she would pay the difference between the lower and higher values. Assessors also: ’¢ Postponed selecting 2009 officers until February, after a member to replace Royce Turner is chosen by the county commission. ’¢ Agreed to post Lamar County’s new flood maps on the q-public website where assessment data is found. They discussed updating the site to include photos of parcels and other information. ’¢ Approved a property adjustment for Rayonier for $150,000 for railroad tracks listed on real and personal property and about $60,000 in land value changes. ’¢ Set the next regular meeting for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, and a policies and procedures workshop for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20. ’¢ Called a closed session to discuss personnel, reconvening to take no action before adjourning.

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