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Assessment notices on their way to county property owners
Assessment notices are not tax bills
Effingham County

Special to the Herald

SPRINGFIELD – Annual assessment notices are currently making their way to Effingham County property owners. These are not tax bills.

An assessment notice includes an estimate of a property owner’s tax bill based on the previous or most applicable year’s millage rate and the fair market value contained on the notice. Effingham County Chief Appraiser Neal Groover said they serve as an important signal to taxpayers.

“The main thing about it is that it lets people know that it is time to appeal if they feel their valuation is not correct,” he said in 2023. “Valuation is the reason for 80 to 90 percent of appeals.”

The appraised value and assessed value of a property are listed in the center of the front page of the notice.

This year’s tax bills won’t be sent until later this year after millage rates are set by the Effingham County Board of Commissioners, which intends to lower its millage rate to a projected 5.525. Effingham County Board of Education, the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority and the Effingham Hospital Authority, Guyton and Springfield residents’ tax bills will also be impacted by their city’s new millage rate. Rincon does not have a city property tax.

“Most people are very focused on the tax (estimate) and we try to tell them to be more focused on the value of the property,” Groover said.

Assessment appeals are often launched after homestead exemptions and Conservation Use Assessments (CUVA) are denied. Others can be based on “uniformity,” a contention that a property isn’t being treated the same as those around it.

The amount of taxes one pays is never an issue during an appeal because neither the tax assessor nor County Tax Board has control over budgets submitted by municipalities, schools, counties or fire districts. One may, however, appeal their property value.

Appeals have to be submitted to the County Board of Tax Assessors within 45 days of the mailing date on their assessment notice. This can be done in person, by mail or online at .

One of the following methods must be followed:

1) At the time of filing an appeal, the property owner must select one of the following appeal methods: County Board of Equalization (value, uniformity, denial of exemption, or taxability)

2) Arbitration (value)

3) County Hearing Officer (value or uniformity, on non-homestead real property or wireless personal property valued, in excess of $500,000)

If a taxpayer is still dissatisfied, an appeal to Superior Court may be made.

Some appeals can be done online.

The Tax Assessor’s Office, located in the Historic Effingham County Courthouse, can be reached at 912-754-2125.