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Board hears more on tax rates

Over a hundred Pulaski County residents turned out for the fourth month in a row Monday night to complain about their real estate tax assessments and plead with the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors to maintain the status quo by not increasing taxes.
The meeting, which included a public hearing on a proposed 50 cents per $100 of assessed value, was held in the auditorium at Pulaski Middle School in order to accommodate the anticipated large crowd.
As in past months, residents who addressed the board complained that the new assessments are inflated and faulty. They called for the Board of Supervisors to throw out the results and have the reassessment redone by another company.
Prior to opening the public hearing, Pulaski County Board of Equalization (BOE) Chairman Andy McCready addressed the crowd, urging them not to fall victim to rumors that their taxes are going to double under the new assessments.
The BOE is a group of four area residents appointed by a Circuit Court judge to evaluate citizens’ appeals of their property reassessments.
McCready pointed out that the BOE answers to the Circuit Court judge, not the county supervisors.
“I can’t tell you the number of people (appealing assessments to the BOE) who have said their taxes are going to double, “ McCready told the crowd. “Get the facts for yourself, don’t listen to the rumors.”
In some cases, he added, the real estate taxes have actually gone down on some properties.
He recalled how one woman came before the BOE upset because her taxes were going to double. However, when the calculations were completed, the most her tax bill was going to increase was $10 per year.
McCready suggested residents do their own calculations using the following methods:
• To determine the amount of taxes paid prior to the reassessment: Divide the old assessed value by 100, then multiply the resulting figure by .62.
• To determine the maximum amount of taxes to be paid under the new assessment: Divide the proposed property value by 100, then multiply the resulting figure by .50.
Since the board of supervisors cannot adopt a rate higher than the 50 cents advertised, the second figure is the maximum amount a citizen’s real estate bill will be. The difference between the first and second figure is the amount of increase in real estate taxes.
Although the hearing was held last night, the board will not officially set the tax rate for 2009-2010 until its March 23 meeting. At that time, the board can either vote to impose the maximum advertised rate of 50 cents or it can choose to impose a lower rate.
The estimated equalized rate, the rate at which the new assessed values will bring in the same amount of revenue as the old assessments, is 46 to 47 cents. However, the official equalized rate will not be known until the BOE is finished hearing residents’ appeals and made any necessary adjustments in property assessments.
McCready urged residents who believe they have erroneous assessments set up an appointment with the BOE by 5 p.m. this Friday.
To make an appointment, call 994-2416 or e-mail boe@pulaskicounty.org.
“If you do not schedule a hearing by 5 p.m. Friday, you’re case will not be heard by the Board of Equalization,” he stressed.
Hearings were slated to end March 7, but McCready pointed out that hearing dates have been extended to March 9-13 to ensure everyone has an opportunity to be heard. If additional dates are needed beyond March 13, more will be added, he noted.
However, he stressed that residents need to come prepared to show evidence why their new assessed values are not accurate. He said the fact the property values have increased is not sufficient reason for an adjustment.
“If you land is steep, bring a picture. If your house has a cracked foundation, bring a picture,” he said.
McCready urged residents with questions about their assessments to go to the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office in the old courthouse building to get a copy of a “master sheet” that shows how their property was assessed. He said the sheet will show what criteria led to the assessment.
He also urged them to check the values of properties around theirs. He pointed out that there may be cause for an adjustment if one property is excessively higher than neighboring properties.
“We have the authorization to lower or raise your property assessment,” McCready advised the group. “It’s not been a big problem, but we’ve had to (raise the assessed value) a time or two.”
McCready volunteered to attend Monday night’s hearing. He offered to meet with citizens outside the hearing to help them calculate their estimated tax change or answer questions.

Board hears more on tax rates

Over a hundred Pulaski County residents turned out for the fourth month in a row Monday night to complain about their real estate tax assessments and plead with the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors to maintain the status quo by not increasing taxes.
The meeting, which included a public hearing on a proposed 50 cents per $100 of assessed value, was held in the auditorium at Pulaski Middle School in order to accommodate the anticipated large crowd.
As in past months, residents who addressed the board complained that the new assessments are inflated and faulty. They called for the Board of Supervisors to throw out the results and have the reassessment redone by another company.
Prior to opening the public hearing, Pulaski County Board of Equalization (BOE) Chairman Andy McCready addressed the crowd, urging them not to fall victim to rumors that their taxes are going to double under the new assessments.
The BOE is a group of four area residents appointed by a Circuit Court judge to evaluate citizens’ appeals of their property reassessments.
McCready pointed out that the BOE answers to the Circuit Court judge, not the county supervisors.
“I can’t tell you the number of people (appealing assessments to the BOE) who have said their taxes are going to double, “ McCready told the crowd. “Get the facts for yourself, don’t listen to the rumors.”
In some cases, he added, the real estate taxes have actually gone down on some properties.
He recalled how one woman came before the BOE upset because her taxes were going to double. However, when the calculations were completed, the most her tax bill was going to increase was $10 per year.
McCready suggested residents do their own calculations using the following methods:
• To determine the amount of taxes paid prior to the reassessment: Divide the old assessed value by 100, then multiply the resulting figure by .62.
• To determine the maximum amount of taxes to be paid under the new assessment: Divide the proposed property value by 100, then multiply the resulting figure by .50.
Since the board of supervisors cannot adopt a rate higher than the 50 cents advertised, the second figure is the maximum amount a citizen’s real estate bill will be. The difference between the first and second figure is the amount of increase in real estate taxes.
Although the hearing was held last night, the board will not officially set the tax rate for 2009-2010 until its March 23 meeting. At that time, the board can either vote to impose the maximum advertised rate of 50 cents or it can choose to impose a lower rate.
The estimated equalized rate, the rate at which the new assessed values will bring in the same amount of revenue as the old assessments, is 46 to 47 cents. However, the official equalized rate will not be known until the BOE is finished hearing residents’ appeals and made any necessary adjustments in property assessments.
McCready urged residents who believe they have erroneous assessments set up an appointment with the BOE by 5 p.m. this Friday.
To make an appointment, call 994-2416 or e-mail boe@pulaskicounty.org.
“If you do not schedule a hearing by 5 p.m. Friday, you’re case will not be heard by the Board of Equalization,” he stressed.
Hearings were slated to end March 7, but McCready pointed out that hearing dates have been extended to March 9-13 to ensure everyone has an opportunity to be heard. If additional dates are needed beyond March 13, more will be added, he noted.
However, he stressed that residents need to come prepared to show evidence why their new assessed values are not accurate. He said the fact the property values have increased is not sufficient reason for an adjustment.
“If you land is steep, bring a picture. If your house has a cracked foundation, bring a picture,” he said.
McCready urged residents with questions about their assessments to go to the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office in the old courthouse building to get a copy of a “master sheet” that shows how their property was assessed. He said the sheet will show what criteria led to the assessment.
He also urged them to check the values of properties around theirs. He pointed out that there may be cause for an adjustment if one property is excessively higher than neighboring properties.
“We have the authorization to lower or raise your property assessment,” McCready advised the group. “It’s not been a big problem, but we’ve had to (raise the assessed value) a time or two.”
McCready volunteered to attend Monday night’s hearing. He offered to meet with citizens outside the hearing to help them calculate their estimated tax change or answer questions.