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Commissioners hear concerns over assessment values

In June, the Franklin County Commissioners meetings included a variety of opinions on the recent property assessment values.

Chairman Curt Didier expressed he had received lots of calls from concerned citizens, that the board of equalization could be overwhelmed with the response, and that the values had increased dramatically. Didier also voiced he felt that implementing Proposition 13 or the Williamson Act would be the way to go, moving away from assessments and letting land owners pay taxes on what they paid for the land.

Rosenau expressed the sole purpose for the Assessor's Office is to make sure that the value that is set for the property is equitable and fair across the county and stated, “I can assure you that that is exactly the goal of our office. Some people will disagree with the methodology, some people will disagree with the dollar amount that's shown. . . “ Rosenau added that the phone number on the cards that went out to the citizens was to the board of equalization office where there is only one person to answer the phone. He encouraged citizens to call the assessor's office with any questions and to file their appeal by the July 3 deadline. Rosenau continued to remind people that “the assessed values going up is not equal to taxes. Budgets determine tax rates.”

George Dockstetter didn’t feel the average citizen should have to pay over $600 for an appraisal to make the appeal. He also suggested extending the deadline.

Chris Hollingsworth, a professional appraiser, brought up concerns of how the mass appraisal is conducted and staff at the Assessor’s Office not being adequately qualified in assessments - offering his services.

Rosenau stated it is not within his office's jurisdiction to extend the deadline which is set for 30 days from mailing of the valuations by state statute. His staff also stated that by placing an appeal it will give the office adequate time to review the items of concern following the July 3 deadline. Over 900 phone calls were received by the assessor’s office in the first two and a half weeks.

Citizens are encouraged to contact the Assessor’s Office at 509-545-3506.

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