Appeals reach more than 5,700 on last day

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Monday was the last day for property owners to file an appeal on the assessments they received in early July.

Thousands of angry homeowners say their property values were over estimated, which left them with higher taxes.

Property owners made their way to the Tax assessors Office throughout Monday to get their appeal in before the 7:00 deadline.

According to Muscogee County Chief Deputy Appraiser John Williams, more than 5,700 appeals have been filed around 6:00 Monday. Last Wednesday, there were around 4,900 appeals.

Thaddius Hill has lived in Columbus for more than 50 years. He said his house in Bellwood went from around $8,000 to more than $175,000.

“I had to go up there and look at the house to see if the house changed and I haven’t done any work on it,” Hill said. “How in the world can the value go up that high? If they want to buy it I’d love to sell it to them for 100!”

Since receiving assessments in early July, there’s been plenty of questions and anger from property owners.

“It always increases a little and we understand that. I understand that it costs to operate but it don’t increase that much in one shot,” Thomas Whitehead said.

Thomas Whitehead served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He’s lived in Columbus for nearly 40 years and said his property increased by about 300 percent.

In response, council members passed a resolution asking the tax assessor’s office to freeze the 2017 evaluations and use levels from 2016 instead.

Council doesn’t have the authority to enact the rollback but can ask the board of assessors to make the change.

“I do think the political influence is improper,” Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said. “The leverage and the influence to try to get the board to do anything other than their objective, which is to get a correct digest is not the proper role of the mayor or the council.”

It’s unclear whether the board will execute a roll back, but the same sentiment has been shared by those most affected.

“I just didn’t believe it,” Thaddius Hill said. “I just thought they had the wrong property. I know they’ve got to be looking at another house.”

 

 

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