The Barrow County Tax Assessors Office is reducing the assessed value of almost all of the properties owned in the county.
By the end of this week, the county will mail 29,000 reassessments for real and personal property owned in the county. That represents more than 90 percent of the 31,150 parcels in Barrow County, said Chief Appraiser Cecil Highfield. And 90 percent of those are going down.
Property owners have 45 calendar days — until the end of August — to either accept their newly assessed values or to appeal. Highfield said he could not estimate the total impact of the lower assessments on the county’s tax digest. However, the total impact is expected to be below the 20-percent shrinkage of the tax base that he had earlier given the county administration as an estimate.
The number is critical to the FY2010 budgets because it will determine how many other spending cuts will have to be made by county governments. A large drop in the tax digest could dramatically affect both the county government and school system, forcing the millage rates up to offset the drop in values.