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Why should citizens of Hall County care about property tax evaluations? Because it's a big determining factor in the attractiveness of the county and whether families and businesses would want to relocate here.
People want to move to a place that treats its citizens fairly. We all want to live in a place where we trust the local government leaders to look out for its citizens and not just county employees.
Understandably, Hall County employees do not want layoffs or cutbacks in their budgets. Lowering property values to reflect the current fair market value would have a negative impact on county revenues. We wish the economic conditions where different. We understand that the county commissioners do not want to raise millage rates.
On the other hand, property owners want the county to tax us fairly and follow state Senate Bill 55 that requires assessors to consider foreclosures, bank sales and distressed sales when determining fair market value of all property.
The Georgia Constitution requires uniformity of taxation across all classes of property. Some lake property has not been reassessed in more than eight years. They raise our property tax to reflect the increased values in good times; now it is time to readjust those in the bad times. This is how our system is suppose to work. We have laws for a reason, right?
When the federal stimulus money is spent and the state budget has been cut to the bone, what will happen to property taxes in Hall County? We need a win-win solution. Currently it looks like the taxpayer is on the losing end of the process.