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Ellijay, GA
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by Michael?Andrews
andrews@timescourier.com

Real property values in the county have gone up 3.66 percent from last year, Gilmer County Chief Appraiser Richard Lamb told Board of Assessors members Mitchell Morgan, BJ Reece, Tom Porter and Darren Gaddis at their April 25 meeting.
“We’ve got quite a few properties that actually  declined in value and we’ve got others that increased in value. But (the increase) was based on market sales. We (also) had a good many land transactions,” said Lamb.
At the meeting, 34,185 real property and 2,794  personal property notices were approved. Notices were scheduled to be mailed out Wednesday, May 1.
The majority of new sales were bank sales  or foreclosures, Lamb specified. Per?state Senate Bill 346, assessors offices in?Georgia must now consider sales of bank-owned properties to be fair market value transactions.
“There’s still quite a few bank sales and we used a good many of those,” said Lamb, who noted the total number of properties includes 42 parcels less than in 2012. 
He attributed the decrease to Coosawattee River?Resort now allowing owners to consolidate parcels in the gated living community.
Property owners who disagree with their assessed value(s) will have 45 days from the date on their notice to file an appeal.
“Hopefully people filing an appeal will give us their opinion of what their fair market value is,” Lamb said.
He added that a paid or “fee” appraisal will be accepted as documentation to help the office determine a new value.
“If they’ve got a fee appraisal, we’ll use that in a heartbeat,” Lamb said.
Board members also reviewed one another’s   property values. All but Reece saw an increase in the values of their primary residences, the highest being Porter’s, which went from $289,100 to $346,000.
The board then approved a resolution that gives the county tax commissioner’s office the power to lower assessed motor vehicle values. The resolution went into effect May 1. 
“If they’ve got a bill of sale in hand and all of a sudden the state is valuing it at $5,000 and they paid $3,000 for it, the tax commissioner can take that, lower it by $2,000 and let them go on about their business,”?Lamb said.
If a new value cannot be decided on, the vehicle owner will still have to get an inspection done by the assessors office for the appeal process to proceed. 


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