County Reappraisal Notices Start Hitting The Mail On Friday, Assessor Bennett Says

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Assessor of Property Bill Bennett told County Commission members on Thursday that reappraisal notices start hitting the mail on Friday.

He said the first batch of 23,564 cards that will list the latest property value as determined by his office will go to residents in East Brainerd, Ooltewah and Apison.

Mailings will continue every few days before the final batch is set to be sent on April 19.

Mr. Bennett said residents who do not agree with the new assessments will have an opportunity to discuss the matter with personnel in his office.

If they still have a beef, they can file an appeal with the Board of Equalization, which starts meeting on June 3.

The assessor said he expects that values will "go up a little for about a third, go down a little for another third and remain about the same for others."

He said he does not yet know how it will affect a new "certified tax rate." A new property tax rate will have to be set at the end of the reappraisal so that the county is not enriched based solely on higher appraisals. The county can only count on "new growth" for higher revenue.

Mr. Bennett said property transactions stalled during the recession and were at a low point in 2011. He said they began to come back late in 2011 and to continue to rise in 2012. There were 11,822 real estate transfers in 2011 and it was up to 14,101 last year. In 2006, there were 18,606 transactions.

He said Hamilton County did not see the effect of the recession like many other parts of the country.

Mr. Bennett said it is his fifth reappraisal, but the first without longtime reappraisal director Roy Rumfelt, who died Dec. 1. He said Mr. Rumfelt had completed 90-95 percent of the reappraisal when he passed.

He praised Mr. Rumfelt as not only a valued employee, but as one who often helped in the community.

The reappraisals are mandated by the state every four years.    

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