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Property values up in Clayton

By Justin Reedy

The assessed value of most property in Clayton County went up this year, but only a small portion of property went up a significant amount, according to the county's chief appraiser.

The Clayton County Tax Assessors office recently mailed more than 62,000 tax assessments to residential and commercial property owners in the county, in preparation for the collection of county property taxes this fall. This batch of 2003 property valuations apply to homes, other buildings, and land, while the next group of assessments for personal and business property such as boats or business inventory will be sent later this month.

For about 60 percent of those assessments, the property value will be going up less than 10 percent from last year, according to Chief Appraiser Rodney McDaniel. About another 20 percent of the assessments will see property value increases of 11 to 20 percent from last year, he added.

"On the whole, the county's assessed property value went up slightly from last year," McDaniel said.

The remaining 19 percent or so of assessments mailed out included "substantial" n 20 percent of value or higher n property value increases from last year, McDaniel said, but many of those can be attributed to construction of new homes, apartments and businesses.

"That's mostly due to brand new construction on property which had no value before," McDaniel said.

Though many Clayton County property tax owners will see their assessments go up, McDaniel says they might feel better knowing that the county's overall assessment median is 37.72 percent of the county's property value. That's slightly lower than the 40 percent encouraged by the state, he said, but within acceptable levels.

The Tax Assessors office mails new property tax valuations each spring in preparation for the collection of property taxes by the Clayton County Tax Commissioner later in the year.

"This is sort of the first step," McDaniel explained. "We'll send the valuation notices first, and then the millage rate will be set this summer, and later this year the tax bills will be sent out."

Residents with questions about their valuation notices, or those wishing to appeal their property valuation, are encouraged to visit or call the Tax Assessors office on the 2nd Floor of the P.K. Dixon Annex of the Historic Courthouse in Jonesboro, which can be reached at (770) 477-3285 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

In addition to the 2003 valuation, last year's valuation and any return value on the property, the assessment notices include the name of the appraiser responsible for valuing that property.

"Each appraiser has an area of the county they're responsible for," McDaniel said. "People can call the appraiser directly and speak to them. I think that's worked out well."

Appeals of the 2003 valuation notices must be filed within 45 days of the date of the notice, so this group of assessments has an appeal deadline of June 9.

Ad Valorem taxes on cars, trucks and other motor vehicles are kept separate from property taxes on homes, land and other property, and are handled by the county Tax Commissioner.