Taxes too high? You have an opportunity to complain!
by Alan Reed
Mar 05, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the early months of the year, the Property Valuation Administrator’s Office releases assessments. PVA Michael Bryan said that homeowners must notify his office of any additions made to property. The Cadiz Record discussed the process of value assessments with him and members of the County Board of Tax Appeals.

“By statute, we have to run that notice every year. Our office will not penalize a homeowner if we are not notified. If we find an addition we will measure the property, take pictures and reassess the value,” said Bryan. “If the property is a new house that hasn’t been dried in by the first of January will not be placed on the tax role.”

Bryan said that he is required to reassess all property at least once every four years. He added that multiple reassessments might be justified if sales of the property or others nearby increase.

“When we look at property we don’t always raise the assessment,” said Bryan. “We may lower them or leave it the same.”

According to Bryan, 18,000 properties exist on the county tax roll. He said that the two most expensive are both commercial properties, Johnson Controls and Benson International. The most expensive residential property recently sold for $1.1 million on Lake Barkley. Bryant said that the largest property covers 750 acres for timber harvesting. He added that he assesses property based on comparisons in fair market values of similar properties. Given fluctuations in the market, Bryan said that the state does not cap assessments, though other states do.

“If a property owner does not agree with my assessments, they have to schedule a conference with me,” said Bryan, adding that he meets with property owners directly in disputes. “I don’t allow my deputies to meet with them. It’s not their job.”

During the conference, a property owner may present his or her reasoning for the dispute in the assessment. If unable to resolve the dispute, Bryan said that the property owner might file a written request with the county clerk’s office for a hearing with the County Board of Tax Appeals that meets once per year.

County Judge/Executive Stan Humphries said that the board is comprised of three men. He appointed Mike Lane to the board. The Fiscal Court named Mike Heffington and Cadiz Mayor Lyn Bailey appointed Ken Prince.

Heffington said that he served as chairman of the board. “My understanding is that members are selected on their background as appraisers or knowledge of real estate and values of property.” He added that both he and Prince work as appraisers.

“We make a recommendation on the value of the property once we have heard both sides of the disagreement,” Heffington said. “We can stand by the PVA or make changes.

Prince said that the board works to make an unbiased decision based on facts He said that if a property owner remains dissatisfied with the assessment, that he or she may make a final appeal to the state.

“Normally we may see two or three appeals per year,” Prince said.

To read the complete story on the PVA and appeals, see this week's Cadiz Record.
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