Tax rolls available for inspection

From staff reports

Winston County’s Tax Assessor Larry Woodward estimates that property values for fiscal year 2012, which started July 1 of last year and ended recently, are down about $300,000 from the year prior but personal property taxes were up almost $3 million in value.

The loss in property values and the gain in personal property should according to supervisors’ comments not produce a tax increase.

Supervisor Mike Peterson noted his concerns about the numbers and wanted Woodward to review Georgia Pacific’s and other industries tax liabilities with their closings. Woodward assured the board Georgia Pacific’s had been examined closely and they owed for part in 2012 and Red Hills Salvage owed for part of the personal property at the facility in 2012. He noted that full loss of tax value would not be felt until next year.

Although lower property values can be good for owners who pay taxes, this could create challenges for the county.

‘We’ve trimmed our budget tight,’ said Supervisor Luke Parkes. “Right now we’re just trying to adjust and make sure that we hold taxes down and continue to provide services for the citizens. I would not vote for a tax increase. We would have to cut budgets more.”

Despite the fact that property values are slightly down within the county, officials say they do not feel this is a forecast for the future.

While no millage increase is expected from the supervisors and some uncultivated properties in the county lost value, some property owners may see in increase in taxes due to improvements on the property or the reevaluation of the property.

Starting July 2 residents can go by the board of supervisors’ office and view the newly assessed property values. Anyone wishing to arrange a special hearing with supervisors to dispute the value assigned to his or her property must arrange to do that at least two weeks prior to the board’s first meeting in August.

The deadline for residents to request a hearing to dispute their property appraisal is Friday, July 27. Supervisors are expected to vote on the appraisals at their first meeting next month. That meeting will be held August 6 at 9 AM.