Conservation Use business at tax assessors’ meeting
By Stephanie Johns
The Morgan County Board of Tax Assessors began their November meeting, approved their October minutes, and then went into closed session for more than 30 minutes to talk about pending litigation.
Upon resuming the open session they voted to appeal the Nancy Ward case pertaining to Map Four, Parcel Two to the Georgia Supreme Court.
Chuck Anglin, Chief Appraiser, later explained that the board will appeal the Court of Appeals decision that said that Ward did not receive notice of how to cure a breach.
Michelle Salter, Tax Assessor/GIS, spoke about the Conservation Use – Continuation List.
She noted that most of the continuation applications are between family members seeking continuation following a family member’s death. One, though, was a lease/purchase agreement.
“All of the qualifying uses are there,” she said, adding that they have been double-checked. These uses include crops, dairy, forestry, livestock, poultry, and wildlife. Continuations were approved.
In other conservation use business, Chairman Ron Zay asked the board to consider participating in a workshop along with Salter to review conservation renewals that will come up from January to April of next year.
“We can look at the marginal ones,” he said, adding that this will give Salter a chance to visit the properties and ask the owners if they even want to renew.
Salter said she has visited the properties and has pictures documenting their conservation use. The board agreed to hold its workshop at 9 a.m. Nov. 27 in the Planning and Zoning meeting room.
The board approved the 2012 Public Utility Assessment Notices as presented. Anglin noted that it has gone up $8 million in value this year according to the Department of Revenue.
“Some went down, some went up, and some did not change,” he said, adding that the ones that rose the most in value were the power companies.
The board then heard about the release report from Anglin who said that they are releasing their 15 percent bill.
He later explained that ‘release’ in this instance means that the board will hand over the 15 percent bills to the Tax Commissioner’s office for the bills to be collected. If any type of exemption was granted or if the property owner submitted any additional documents it will not be reflected on this bill because the digest has been sent to Atlanta and they have closed the books.
As to the Board of Equalization results, Anglin said that of the 46 owners with 84 property accounts, 15 of the 84 were withdrawn and 26 of the 84 did not show up. Forty-three were heard out of the 84. Out of those, 35 did not change and eight were adjusted. No action was required.
Zay noted that results were “overall very good.”
In other news, Anglin said that two withdrawals needed to be accepted by the board for appeal hearings.
Also, he has received a letter and photos showing that a 55-acre property on Highway 441 has had its hay cut and a fence is being put up. Anglin later explained that the board had asked for the property owner to show proof of compliance, hence the letter and photos.
Anglin told the board that they had received an updated ABOS Boat / Watercraft Pricing guide, which he described as a table from the Department of Revenue for valuing boats and jet skis. .
The board also received an updated listed from the Department of Natural Resources. He later explained that the DNR presents the county with a list of boat owners annually.
Printed in the November 15, 2012 edition