AUGUST 14, 1995 AT 5:30 P.M.

PRESENT: Jack Hardman, Chairman

Milton Lynn, Vice Chairman

Commissioner, Virginia Gunn

Commissioner, Gladys Martin-Lyde

Commissioner, James E. "Sonny" Miller

Commissioner, Robert E. Strickland

Commissioner, Fred Tullos

ALSO PRESENT: Lee Gilmour, County Administrator

Gary Moore, County Attorney

Cynthia McKinley, County Clerk

STAFF PRESENT: Don Long, Chief, Appraiser

Eugene Leggett, Assessor

Hugh Leggett, Assessor

Mary B. Cashin, Chairman, Tax Assessors

INVOCATION by Commissioner Milton Lynn


Chairman Hardman states that the purpose of this "Called Meeting" is to discuss recent re-evaluation with the Glynn County Board of Tax Assessors and Chief Appraiser.

Many of you have called your individual Commissioners and expressed your concerns and that is why we are having this meeting. It's likely there will be a vote taken and recommendations made by the Board of Commissioners to the board of Tax Assessors, but you need to know two or three things;

1. The Glynn County Board of Commissioners does not set property values.

2. Tax Commissioner, Florence Dees sends tax bills. She does not set the millage rate nor does she set property values.

3. The School Board does not set property values.

4. The Tax Assessor does set property values. That's their charge. They are given that charge by state law. It's a very specific charge.

We are not here tonight to discuss individual pieces of property. After the Commission and the Board of Assessors conduct their meeting , I'll be very happy to allow a limited number of individual speakers and by decision of this Board, 2 (two) minutes apiece.

For the publics information there must be a re-evaluation every 3 years. That's a state law. State law says that property must be valued at it's Fair Market Value. The Board of Assessors is charged with the responsibility of evaluating your property at it's Fair Market Value. Fair Market Value is what a willing buyer and a willing seller will do business on a particular piece of property. They have a very specific obligation to appraise at Fair Market Value. My problem is that in my opinion, Board of Assessors I think in some instances you likely over set values.

My point is that reasonable people expect a reasonable increase from time to time. Glynn County Government aggressively tries to hold the cost down. But people do not understand it when their values go up by 50%, when their values double or in some instances triple. I think our appraisals ought to follow the market not anticipate a future one.

Commissioner Hardman asked the assessors to take a second look at any thing in Glynn County that appreciated in tax value over 15%.

Commissioner Tullos stated that he has had over 150 phone calls about this and has heard from people all over Glynn County with various complaints and would like the Board of Assessors to maybe address some of these complaints. We need a brief, clear explanation as to what was used in the re-evaluation of the homeowners property.

Commissioner Strickland stated that he also received a lot of calls and he can agree or sympathize with the most of them. Something is broken and I feel like today, I don't know what it is, but we need to take a look at it and see if we can make some adjustments to look at our re-evaluation, look at our method of re-evaluation. Something is different from our method of evaluation we had 3 years ago, 6 years ago, and 9 years ago. We need to look at that.

Commissioner Lynn stated that something is wrong. We do have a problem and when it comes time, I do want to make a motion that we charge them to quickly and earnestly look at anything over 15%. Anything under 15% is alright as far as I'm concerned. But we need to do this and do it quickly.

Commissioner Lyde stated that all of us have gotten phone calls and all of us are concerned because it affects us personally also. But, I don't think we can make any kind of move until we here from them. And it sounds to me like it's a legislative problem also, so there's nothing else to say until we hear from the board.

Commissioner Gunn stated that all the other commissioners have said just about all there is to say except that my constituents would like to see us roll back the millage.

Commissioner Miller stated that he didn't get any phone calls so I don't know why I'm here, but I want to wait and hear from the experts. I don't know what we can legally do or not do but I'm sure we will try to do what's right.

Tommie Cashin, Chairman of the Board of Tax Assessors gave a brief statement to the Board and public. The Board of Assessors has not had an opportunity to meet therefore I can not speak for the board on any matter at this time. The guideline for filing an appeal of the tax on your property according to the laws of the State of Georgia are outlined in a booklet prepared by the Tax Assessors office. The Board cannot discuss anyone's property taxes at this time. Filing an appeal is the first step.

Tracy Thomas, Georgia Department of Revenue stated that he would like to answer general questions as to the state's role in property revaluation and let Mr. Long and his staff answer questions pertaining to Glynn County.

Commissioner Hardman asked Ms. Cashin that rather than put everyone through the ordeal of an appeal, would the Board of Assessors be receptive to taking a second look at anything that has increased over a specific amount in a several week period of time?

Motion by Commissioner Lynn seconded by Commissioner Strickland that the Tax Assessors office take a second look at each and every property that has increased over 15%.

Gary Moore, County Attorney, discussed the three (3) grounds for appeal;

1. Taxability of property

2. Valuation - Fair Market Value set by Board of Assessors

3. Equalization of Value - Fair comparison to other properties

Commissioner Tullos stated the motion is fair and honest and is asking for an honest effort on the Board of Assessors and the Assessors office to work at this and help us all with some of these problems, but 15% might be a high figure, that maybe we should look at lowering it and expedite the appeal process so people can get their answers.

Commissioner Strickland asked Ms. Cashin the legality of making phone calls to the Assessors office regarding property taxes. Ms. Cashin stated that the appeal should be in person or in writing.

Commissioner Lynn amends motion seconded by Commissioner Strickland that the Board of Tax Assessors office take a look at each and every piece of property that has increased more than 11%. Unanimous.

Commissioner Strickland seconded motion provided that the appeals still go in. Even if there is a 1% increase, still file an appeal.

Commissioner Lynn asked Mr. Long if the appeal process cost the taxpayer anything. Mr. Long's response was no.

Hugh Leggett, Tax Appraiser addresses Board and public regarding an equity question.

Gary Moore stressed the importance of filing the appeals in writing.

The Board of Commissioners heard from the following individuals;

Dick Charnnock

122 George Lane

Ridgewood Plantation

Dave Rowen

236 Davenport Lane

Blythe Island

Beverly Harvey

Shaw's Bounty

St. Simons Island

Michael Lanahan

Island Club

St. Simons Island

Abe Glover

4207 11th Street

East Beach

Harold Hennick

625 Dellwood Ave

St. Simons Island

Vernon Copeland

Old Jesup Rd.

M. W. Hatfield

Sam Cofer

St. Simons

James Michael

Fishhall Rd.

Joe Bradford

Sea Island Motion by Commissioner Strickland to adjourn, seconded by Commissioner Lyde. Meeting adjourned.