Chief Appraiser Bill McWhorter told the board Tuesday about a peer review process available through the Georgia Department of Revenue. He said he would welcome the scrutiny to lay the questions to rest.
“They audit us every three years anyway, and our last one was in 2009,” he said.
Commissioners said they did not doubt the assessments, but the independent review would provide taxpayers with more information about how the appraisals are conducted.
“This is validating the process,” Commissioner Garry Fricks said. “Anybody who has a tax increase is going to question it. This lets them know you’re doing what the state requires you to do.”
Within a month the DOR commissioner will appoint a panel of three auditors — one from the state and two appraisers from other counties. They’ll spend about a week poring over past audits and interviewing staffers before issuing their report.
McWhorter said Floyd County assesses about 48,000 parcels.
There were 1,800 appeals last year and, less than two weeks before the deadline, only about 500 appeals have been filed for 2012.
For information about the assessment and appeals processes check the romefloyd.com website or call the assessors’ office at 706-291-5143.
In other actions Tuesday, the County Commission:
County Manager Blaine Williams said state law gives the parties 60 days to agree on a formula, or the talks go to nonbinding
arbitration. If that fails a court sets the shares.
The 1-cent LOST is a permanent collection used to offset property taxes. The distribution formula must be recalculated after every census.
Funding is through the jail surcharge fund and the work is expected to take 30 days.
Williams said most of the price adjustments are a result of rocky ground discovered when towers were being erected, but he’s awaiting more detailed information from the contractor.