Muscogee County couple calls the short deadline of a property tax form an “ambush”

COLUMBUS, Ga. – If you own property in Muscogee County you should have received a property tax information building form in the mail several weeks ago. A deadline of May 13th was stamped on it.

Sean and Suzy Eaton  tell News 3 they thought it was scam. However, they did some research and realized it was not. They say the Muscogee County Tax Assessor had them down for an extra bedroom and bathroom. Which would mean they pay higher property taxes. The Eaton’s say this is not the first time they’ve corrected this same information. They also say it is not their only grievance with this form. They say on the heels of pulling a permit to install some new windows for several thousand dollars the price of their house spiked $30,000.

Their big issue is the harsh deadline on returning the card. (Officials who work with the tax office say they were mailed April 25th and due back May 13th.) Mr. Eaton, who is retired military, describes the short deadline as an ambush like attack.

“Now all of a sudden they fill out this card or else you are stuck with this and people are like whoa and that’s not right,” says Eaton.

John Williams, the Deputy Chief Appraiser for Muscogeee County, tells News 3 he does not regret the tactic.

“I think giving them a short response time from my perspective ensures people are going to respond when the get it in their hand,” says Williams.

If you missed the deadline the good news is they will continue to accept any cards that trickle in over the next few weeks.

News 3 also asked if this form has any connection to the property tax thaw the mayor is proposing for the November ballot. He says there is no connection and it is merely a coincidence.

They say the whole reason for this inquiry from Tyler Technologies Inc. is to convert the current property information into a new database. Tyler Technologies Inc. was hired by the Columbus Consolidated Government back in November of 2014. They say it’s a 2 year process and they are a year and a half into creating and updating the database.

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