April 16, 2017
Three or four years of property value increases and corresponding property tax increases in Jasper County are putting some people out of a place to live. For the past two weeks The Monticello News has had approximately 110 properties (3 and 1/2 pages) up for sale for failure to pay their property taxes. As taxes continue to increase, more people will be unable to pay the bill.
Jasper County’s chief appraiser, Lynn Bentley, warned us in an article dated March 30, 2017 that she felt property values should be increased AGAIN this year, and the notices received in the mail Friday confirm they were raised. (See that article at the end of this blog)
The Jasper County BOC continues to promise that the millage rate is not going to increase. They do not have to increase the millage when the values go up as significantly as they have. The increasing values automatically give the BOC more tax money out of our pockets.
On Monday, April 17 the BOC will again discuss the $7.5 million bond/loan, a $4 million SPLOST, and the new FY 2018 budget. They will never have enough money, but the property owners of this county have about been drained dry.
There are things you can do to fight these increasing values and corresponding tax increases. Those things will be listed in an upcoming blog.
Tax Digest Will Change for 2017
By LYNN BENTLEY
March 30, 2017
For 2017, we are continuing to see an improving market. The total number of sales is up again as well. From 2015 to 2016, the number of sales used increased 10 percent. For 2016 to 2017, it has increased 15 percent.
There continues to be a decrease in bank sales also. These are no longer setting the market. We are using 217 sales this year and only 14 are bank sales. There are bargains out there, but there are fewer and fewer of them.
We clearly have two types of property that were hot sellers for 2017. They were Turtle Cove Interior houses and houses on Northern Rural tracts, particularly on small tracts. These will see the largest increases for 2017. Interestingly, these are also the properties that saw the most dramatic changes during the downturn.
Again this year, I did a comparison with the proposed new values and current listings on MLS. I compared 64 properties. Some have listing prices that are close to the new values. But, most are listed for $20k to $70k more than the new values.
And as a reminder, there were concerns about the changes that were implemented last year. Those increases were applied and now this year, there are many areas that are selling for more than those values. This is why it is so important to follow the market on a yearly basis. You can get behind on values very quickly if they are not evaluated each year.
City of Monticello: No changes for any of the city neighborhoods. There were sales over the current values, but there were sales for less than the current values as well. This was the case within most neighborhoods. I feel we should hold off on any changes until there is a clearer trend in the city.
5 acre “Farms”: There were sales in all eight of these neighborhoods. Land increases will be applied for Hawk’s Nest, Lake Ridge, North Jasper Farms, Deep Lake Farms, Barnes Mountain Farms and Liberty Drive. Also, structure increases will be applied in Rock Eagle Farms, Liberty Drive, and Lake Ridge.
County Line Subdivisions: Structure increases will be applied for Jones Estates. There were three sales in that neighborhood last year, all sold for almost 20% more than the current values. There will also be structure increases for Ashwood Meadows and Bobcat Estates based on this activity.
Turtle Cove Interior: No change for lot values. Structure increases will be applied for all Interior houses. On improved lots, there were 35 sales last year and only six sold for less than the current value, two of which were bank sales. Most of the sales ranged anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent over current values.
Lakefront Neighborhoods: 2016 saw quite a lot of activity with lakefront sales. There were sales in most neighborhoods. In some areas the sales were slightly over current values, others were as much as 20-30 percent over current values. Lot increases will be applied for the following: Waters Bridge/212, Alcovy Shores 2 (cove), Alcovy Bluffs (Dallas/Yancey), Landers, Pine Grove, Templeton Heights, and Fisherman’s Point (dam). Structure increases will be applied for Water’s Bridge/212, Alcovy Bluffs, Fisherman’s Point, Turtle Cove, and Alcovy North. There were also sales in Rollingwood Cove, Southern Pines, and Alcovy Shores (front) that sold for very close to current values.
There were 33 improved sales on the North side, with most selling for 5-30 percent over the current values. There were 10 improved sales on the South side, with most selling for 5-15 percent over the current values. Structure increases will be applied for all rural tracts.
Land Value Changes: Last year we only increased the large tracts (over 30 acres). The market seems to have cooled for large tracts. There were some sales over current values, but there were as many under current values. No changes for large tracts countywide.
This year we are seeing a major change on small tracts in the North. During the downturn, the gap was narrowing for the values between the North and the South. But that may be changing. This year, every vacant sale on the North sold for more than current value. Increases will be applied for small tracts on the North. For the Southside small tract sales, there were some sales for more than current vales, but as many for less. No changes for small tracts on the South.
There were six usable commercial sales this year. Two of the sales were for more than the current value, two sold for very close to current values and two sold for less than the current value. No changes for commercial.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.