By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer

Morgan County property owners can expect a second round of property value notices from the Morgan County Tax Assessors in coming weeks. The Morgan County Tax Assessors approved the second round of property value notices on June 17. The second round of notices contain recent adjustments on property values that were updated since the first round of notices were sent out on May 8. The annual notices are based on a compiled digest of all Morgan County property values. The digest contains the current calculated value of every property in Morgan County based on all market activity from 2013. With the first round of notices, property owners were given 45 days to appeal, with the second round, property owners will have 30 days to appeal their notice, said Chuck Anglin, chief appraiser. “A lot of the adjustments are minor,” said Anglin.

“We send these notices out to make sure everything is true and correct.” According to Anglin, the changes have to do with small procedural variations such as square-footage, demolition permits, basements, and other internal features of homes. “The main purpose is to to catch any mistakes,” said Anglin.

“All properties are measured from the outside of the home, but if there are internal issues, the property owners can let us know.” So far, about 150 appeals from Morgan County property owners have been filed from the first round of notices. The Tax Assessors approved that these appeals be forward to the Board of Equalization (BOE), a county board appointed by the Grand Jury, charged by law with hearing and adjudicating administrative appeals to property values and assessments made by the Board of Tax Assessors. The property values of the tax assessors latest digest will be used by the County Commissioners to determine the millage rate for property taxes later this year. “You have to look at the entire average of what the county, schools and state needs in their budgets,” said Anglin about how the millage rate is determined.

“The county budget and the school budget portions are a very significant part of the millage rate and the state budget portion is very small,” said Anglin. According to the Morgan County Tax Assessors website, the basis property taxation is the fair market value of the property which is established as of January 1 each year. The tax is levied on the assessed value of the property which , by law, is established at 40 percent of fair market value. The amount of tax is determined by the tax rate (mill rate) levied by various entities. One mill is equal to $1 for each $1000 of assessed value or .001. “The values are up on most cases from last year. They are up to where they were from around 2010, but still way down from the peak times. This isn’t a boom, but it is a stabilization,” said Anglin.