FIGHT, DOUG, FIGHT– FOR THE POOR, OVER-TAXED PROPERTY OWNER

 Comm. Doug Luke has finally joined Comm. Bruce Henry in the fight to lower the millage rate and give the property owners some relief.  He did his best and fought for the citizens the entire meeting.

 June 1, 2017

 At the last BOC meeting, Comm. Salmon made a push to add $200,000 to the budget and had EMS/Fire Director, Chris Finch, “crunch some numbers” at the last minute. (see May 28th blog)

Comm. Henry balked, Comm. Pennamon was frustrated, and Comm. Luke realized what a “heck of an increase” the proposal would be year after year for the taxpayers. Listen to the discussion and watch as Comm. Luke fights against more taxes, and Comm. Salmon pushes for increased spending.

Comm. Luke also questions how cost effective it would be to add a new station if you only had 15 or 20 calls a year for service vs. $300,000 or more in increased annual funding.

Comm. Henry and Comm. Luke both voted to approve a 15.945 millage rate.  As Comm. Luke argued for the lower millage rate and against Salmon’s proposal, he reminded all of the BOC that the numbers presented were nothing but a projected number and how fast it could grow.  Fight, Doug, Fight!

 

Comm. Jernigan made the motion to go with the higher 16.446 millage rate, 2nd by Comm. Pennamon.  Comm. Henry and Comm. Luke were against, and Comm. Salmon wouldn’t vote.  It appeared he was holding out hoping to get his way.  Comm. Luke said, “We have to deal with the reality we have right now.” Comm. Pennamon said the millage rate had to be settled that night.  Comm. Salmon finally voted to use the highest millage rate presented.

Until the property owners of this county start speaking up, taxes will continue to go up.  The BOC will raise our taxes 3.54% according to the 5 year history, and the School Board will raise our taxes 3.13% according to their 5 year history.  This is on top of the value increase many property owners received.

A $15,000 value increase on your home would result in a tax increase of approximately $200.  This is in addition to the tax increases over each of the past 3 years.  As long as there are no citizens at the public hearings, spending will go up and taxes will too.

 

TWG

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.

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Posted in Budgets, County, Property taxes | 10 Comments

AFTER 2 MONTHS OF BUDGET DISCUSSIONS, CRAIG SALMON THROWS A MONKEY WRENCH IN THE PROCESS

SALMON WANTED TO ADD $200,000 OR MORE TO THE BUDGET FIGURE RIGHT BEFORE THE VOTE

 May 28, 2017

 Interrupting a motion to accept the $10,041,274 FY18 budget, Commissioner Salmon sidetracks the board with what he suggests is a “dangerous question.”  He says he just thought of this the day before.

 Bowing to Comm. Salmon’s wishes, both the EMS director and County Manager spent a day coming up with figures.  These figures that are little more than lowball projections.

 EMS Director Chris Finch talked to the BOC about new ambulance service out of Station 7 at Farrar, with a projected cost of $304,000 per year.  This does NOT include adding on living quarters to the station or buying another ambulance.

If the ambulance idea didn’t work, Salmon and Finch had plan B ready—build a new fire station either in the Clay Road area or the Liberty Church Road area.  Salmon says the lower ISO rating would offset the tax increases.  Of course everyone in the county would pay for the tax increase, while only people within 5 miles of the fire station would get the benefit of a lower ISO rating (IF that occurred).  It is hard to understand how Jasper County has an ISO of 5 when we don’t have fire hydrants around the county.  Part of the ISO is the ability to pump water for a length of time.

Watch Finch’s comments on a new fire station starting around 18:00 in the video below.  His projections do not include land acquisition, grading, electric, etc.  Again, this is another lowball projection to try to convince the BOC to spend more money.

Projections never include cost of extra insurance, maintenance, increasing health insurance for more employees, etc.

Doug Luke questions the projections and fights hard to lower the millage rate–details in the next blog.

TWG

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.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com

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Posted in Budgets, County, EMS, Fire, Property taxes | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

ATTENTION-TURTLE COVE RESIDENTS—THANK YOUR COMMISSIONERS FOR YOUR NEW PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

May 27, 2017

Both commissioners representing the Turtle Cove area, Salmon on the east side and Jernigan on the west side, voted to use the higher millage rate Monday night instead of the rollback rate.  Comm. Pennamon voted along with them.

More money for the County, less for you!

For ANY property owner in the county whose value has been raised, you will now have a property tax increase.  If your value went up $20,000, your taxes will increase a little more than $130.  PLUS the School Board is raising your taxes another 3.17% over last year on top of the tax increase due to your value hike.

 All houses in Turtle Cove and in most of the county, with the exception of the City of Monticello residents, went up in value.  However, Comm. Jernigan’s value did NOT increase, nor did Comm. Pennamon’s; therefore, their taxes will NOT increase.

We are working on videos of the meeting; a meeting where Doug Luke and Bruce Henry fought hard to use the rollback rate.  Craig Salmon brought another $200,000+ of expenditures to the table at the last minute and tried to hold the BOC hostage by refusing to vote on the millage rate, hoping to get his way.

 

TWG

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.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/taxdogs

Posted in Budgets, County, Property taxes | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

BOC MEETS TOMORROW-MAY 25-TO APPROVE FY18 BUDGET & MILLAGE RATE

May 24, 2017

The agenda was posted sometime today for a meeting tomorrow night at 6:00PM to approve the millage rate and the $10,000,000+ FY18 budget.  There have been no public hearings, which have become nothing more than a formality and only done because the law says so.  The BOC has already made the decisions, and the public hearings, whenever  they are held, will do little more than go in one ear and out the other.

The agenda is as follows

Old Business: 

  1. Approve Employee Health Insurance for FY 2018
  2. Approve 2017 Digest Millage Rate 
  3. Budget Consensus to Advertise:
  4. Budget Summary
  5. Proposed and 5 Year History
  6. Public Hearings

 

TWG

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Posted in Budgets, County, Property taxes | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

HOW TO APPEAL YOUR PROPERTY ASSESSMENT (VALUE)

THE VALUE DETERMINES YOUR PROPERTY TAX BILL

 May 20, 2017

 Last year, one property owner appealed to Superior Court and won!  It cost the county about $400 in attorney fees to “save” $61 in taxes.  The property owner felt strongly that his property was over-valued.  You can appeal and win too!

YOU HAVE UNTIL MAY 26, 2017 TO APPEAL YOUR PROPERTY ASSESSMENT which you should have received sometime around April 15th.

The recent property assessment mailed to you will show last year’s fair market value (FMV) and this current year’s FMV as determined by the Board of Assessors.  You have the right to appeal this value.  You should start by asking for a copy of your property record card from the Tax Assessors office.

You can find your property record card (and any property record card) HERE.

Here is how the appeal works:

 There are three (3) grounds for appealing reassessments:

  1. The reassessed value is greater than the FMS of the property (“value”)
  2. The reassessed value is greater than the assessment of comparable properties (“uniformity”)
  3. The property is exempt from taxation or you are entitled to a homestead exemption for which you applied but you did get (“taxability”)

If you feel you can show examples of similar property assessed less than your assessment, you should appeal. 

 HOW TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK

 Review the property record card to make sure all information is correct, such as:

  1. the acreage
  2. the year of construction
  3. the square footage
  4. number and types of rooms
  5. proper classification
  6. Check “subjective” ratings
  7. Major repair work needed
  8. Irregular land shape
  9. Flooding and topography of your land
  10. Zoning problems
  11. Restrictive covenants
  12. If you find an error, put in on your list of appeal points

Research the market

  1. Your closing statement, if bought within 3 years
  2. A recent appraisal for insurance or for refinancing
  3. Sales of similar properties

 If you have found errors or feel your property is over-valued after doing your home work, appeal your assessment.  You do so by filing out the appeal form.  You can fill out the form by hand or by typing it in.

 Click here for APPEAL FORM

 After you fill out the form, you can email the appeal to lbentley@jaspercountyga.org or take the appeal in person to the Tax Assessors office on the main floor of the courthouse, or you can mail to appeal to Jasper County BOA, 126 W. Greene St., Suite 124, Monticello, GA 31064.  Make sure it is either in the mail or at the BOA office by 5/26/17.

 You will receive an appointment to meet with the Chief Assessor.  If you don’t get any satisfaction there, you will appear before the Board of Equalization. 

 The Board of Equalization is made up of 3 citizens that are supposed to be unbiased and listen to both sides.  If you don’t get satisfaction there, you have to right to appeal to Superior Court and let a jury of other Jasper County citizens hear your case.  The cost is $25.  As we stated before, You Can Appeal and Win!

 

TWG

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.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/taxdogs

Posted in County, Property taxes | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

TO BE CIVILIZED WE NEED HIGHER TAXES AND MORE DEBT

Jasper County is getting mighty civilized.

 May 19, 2017

During the last BOC meeting the FY2018 budget was discussed and adopted.  The BOC allowed citizen comments. 

Gene Trammell’s widow, Norma Jeanne Trammell, urged the BOC to increase taxes and add more debt.  As reported in the Monticello News, she said “taxes are a price you pay for living in a civilized world.”  The BOC is considering adding $7.5M of debt through a bond offering that must be approved by the voters, asking for a 1% SPLOST tax, and setting a $10M budget. 

Jasper County is getting mighty civilized.

Jasper County’s property taxes are high and have gone up even higher– 20% over the past 4 years.  The BOC adopted a budget of $10,068,310 on Monday, May 15th.  No budget hearings have been advertised by the BOC.

The BOC has discussed “cuts” and using a lower millage rate to offset the new property value increase many property owners received again this year.  Both Comm. Henry and Comm. Luke  have stressed the BOC should lower the millage to prevent a tax increase

The School Board has passed a tentative budget which includes a 3.13% property tax increase, and they have advertised it in the paper.  They will hold budget hearings on 5/23/17 at 7:00pm, 5/31/17 at 6:30pm, and 6/20/17 at 7:00pm. 

TWG

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.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/taxdogs

Posted in Budgets, County, Property taxes | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

ANYONE NEED AN AMBULANCE?

 

May 14, 2017

Obviously taxpayers in Jasper County are not excited about seeing county employees buying lottery tickets or going to Walmart while on the county time clock.  We received this picture earlier today.

Today, Mother’s Day, 12:30PM, Covington, GA

EMS Director, Chris Finch, has just gotten the BOC to buy another ambulance.  He needs to make sure they are available to the citizens when needed, and not being used for personal errands.

TWG

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.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/taxdogs

 

Posted in County, EMS | Tagged , | 7 Comments