The Cherokee County Tax Assessor’s office on Monday mailed out 104,250 tax assessments, 96,710 of which were real and 7,504 were personal property accounts.
The county’s tax digest declined about 7 percent.
Property owners will have until June 28 to appeal their assessment. Real property includes land and structures such as houses or businesses.
Chief Tax Assessor John Adams said the 2012 parcel information has also been updated on the county’s website and property owners don’t have to wait until the hard copy of their assessment comes via the United States Postal Service to file an appeal if they do not agree with the assessed value.
Adams said out of 96,710 real property assessments, 82,175 went down in value while 5,940 saw an increase in their assessments.
There were 8,595 that saw no change in their assessments.
The total gross digest now sits at $7.23 billion, down from $7.78 billion.
Adams said the decline in values was not a surprise.
Like always, he said, some areas of the county will see values go down and some will go up.
The tax assessor said he continues to hope for a turnaround.
“I wish I knew, but no one out there can really say,” he said.
Local leaders expected the decline and are acting accordingly.
Ball Ground City Manager Eric Wilmarth said the decline in the city was 14 percent, so the city adopted its fiscal year 2013 budget with the expectation to collect the same amount of revenue as it did in the previous fiscal year.
Waleska’s digest is “rather small,” and City Clerk Aimee Abernathy said the effect won’t hurt the city.
“The effect will be minimal for us and we should be able to manage the reduction with continuous streamlining of expenses,” she added.
Woodstock City Manager Jeff Moon said the city’s digest declined by 4.76 percent and the city is evaluating the impact on the budget.
Rob Logan, the Holly Springs city manager, said the city operates on a calendar year, which allows for them to begin work on the budget in late summer and early fall.
He noted the decline will result in about $150,000 less in the city’s general fund.
Canton City Manager Scott Wood noted the city’s digest is down about 5 percent and if it maintained its millage rate of 6.88 mills, it would result in a $248,433 drop in the city’s general fund.
Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper said the county initially predicted a 5 percent drop, so the county will adjust the fiscal year 2013 budget to reflect the tax assessor’s projections.
He noted the digest’s decline reflects a $2 million loss for the general fund and a $1 million lost for the county’s fire district.
County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens added the county will find a way to plug the gap.
“We’ll figure it out as we have in the past,” he said.