Property rolls show value increase for 2004

Published 5:00 am Monday, July 12, 2004

Most property values are going up, and that could help keepproperty taxes down, county and city officials said.

According to new tax rolls presented to supervisors last week,the countywide assessed value of homes, land and other realproperty topped $118 million for the 2004 tax year. That representsan approximately $5.3 million increase over 2003.

“It’s good that our county is growing,” said Lincoln County TaxAssessor-Collector Nancy Jordan, who attributed the increase to newconstruction activity and new property coming on the tax rolls.

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Among other tax totals, the assessed value of automobiles roseabout $700,000 from $49.3 million last year to $50 million thisyear. Assessed values of mobile homes were up almost $97,000 from$2.2 million in 2003 to $2.3 million for 2004.

The value of personal property, such as business machinery andequipment, dropped from $29.1 million last year to $28.5 millionthis year. Jordan attributed the decline to some businessclosings.

“It’s nothing I can pinpoint; it’s just a combination of thoseclosings,” Jordan said.

A total assessed value of all property in the county wasunavailable as public utilities values have not been received,Jordan said.

Assessed values represent only a percentage of properties’ realmarket values.

While good for the county, the increase in real property valuecan also be a good thing for property owners, Jordan said. Propertyvalues are used in conjunction with a millage rate, or levy, todetermine how much people will pay in property taxes.

“The more value you have, the less millage you have to have tomeet the county budget,” Jordan said.

City Tax Collector Pat Duckworth said the same applies forresidents of Brookhaven.

City and county officials have just begun preliminary work ontheir budgets for the new fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. After thebudgets are set, property owners will receive tax notices inDecember.

In the city, the assessed value of real property increased $1.1million to $43.7 million and mobile homes values rose about $73,000to $138,000. The assessed value of personal property dipped$289,000 to $10.6 million, while automobile values were down almost$22,000 to $9.5 million.

After presentation to the board of supervisors, the real andpersonal property rolls are open for public inspection. They willbe open beginning Monday and going through Friday, July 23, saidJordan, indicating the totals are preliminary until accepted andapproved by the state.

“When they’re open, they could be changed,” Jordan said.

Jordan said anyone who disagrees with their property’sassessment may contact her to discuss what they feel isincorrect.

“If they’re then not satisfied, they can file (an appeal) withthe board of supervisors and they’ll set a hearing date,” Jordansaid.

Tax officials are also making plans to sell property in whichthe owners have not paid this year’s taxes on it. Jordan said thecounty’s land sale for delinquent taxes will be Monday, Aug. 30, inthe government complex lobby, while Duckworth said the city’s salewill be in the city board room.

“It will be held concurrently,” Duckworth said.

Jordan said those who haven’t paid their property taxes and planto use a check will need to do so by July 23. After that date, onlycash or money orders will be accepted.

Property taxes should be paid by July 27 in order for theproperty to not be listed in the newspaper in advance of the landsale, Jordan said.

“It should be run during the first week of August,” Jordan saidabout the land sale notice.

Also, Jordan said some businesses had been late in paying taxeson their personal property. She encouraged them to do so by July27.