published Friday, February 15th, 2013

Hamilton County property owners getting reappraisal notices

Hamilton County Assessor of Property Bill Bennett says the first wave of property reappraisal notices will go out to residents today.

Bennett updated county commissioners at their Thursday agenda meeting on the status of reappraisals, which happen every four years.

Property appraisals are used to determine the county's property tax rate, which budgetmakers use to project future revenue. Property tax funds about 40 percent of the county's $643 million overall budget.

According to Bennett, about a third of the nearly 150,000 taxable properties in the county were reappraised at higher values, a third had their appraised values reduced and a final third remained the same.

The assessor's office will be sending notices to residents and businesses through April 12, Bennett said. Property owners who wish to dispute reappraised values will be able to contact his office. Disputes that can't be resolved may be appealed to the Board of Equalization, which will convene June 3, he said.

Only after all appeals are resolved will Bennett be able to report the certified tax rate to the commission, he said.

Despite dismal property markets throughout the nation, Bennett said Hamilton County has been faring well. Property tax revenue remained neutral in 2012, but more property exchanged hands.

Bennett reported 14,101 property transfers in 2012, up 19 percent from 11,822 transfers in 2011.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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