By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Group offers free help for filing property tax return
Placeholder Image

The We, the Taxpayers, organization will have a public meeting for all citizens who wish to attend to discuss the present efforts of the organization regarding the issue of Effingham County property taxes.

A major part of the meeting will be to bring to the attention of those in attendance the need to go ahead a file their property tax return. This is the first step in a taxpayer seeing that their property is at current fair market value, which is the benchmark for property value for taxation according to state law.

This meeting will be held at the county administrative complex on Laurel Street in Springfield on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. Citizens are urged to bring their tax bills with them, if they are going to need help in completing the form.

Forms will be available to those who wish to pick one up to take home. There has to be a different form completed for each parcel of property.
The window of time to file your own return of your real property for tax purposes is now open. This window runs from Jan. 1-April 1. It is the taxpayers’ opportunity to tell the tax assessors what you believe the actual fair market value of your property is now in 2010.

This little known, or paid attention to, provision in the real property tax laws can have a huge impact on the fair market value assigned to real property. If the tax assessor’s disagree with your assignment of value, they will have to give you an opportunity to appeal their value.
The law states that it is up to the tax assessor to prove his value and not the responsibility of the tax payer to prove the value he sets.

From actual practice most tax payers do not feel that it works that way. They feel that they are pressed to support their value by the board of equalization at such hearings. At this meeting there will be a discussion of the necessary preparation for a hearing before the board of equalization
The first step for any taxpayer is to file this form in a timely manner. The form is available on line at At that site go to the pull down menu for departments, at the tax assessors menu go to forms, at forms select “taxpayers return of real property.”

ou may fill it out on your computer, but you must print it out, sign and either take to tax assessor’s office or mail it before the deadline of April 1.
We, the Taxpayers, is continuing the effort to bring about change in the manner in which values are arrived at in the assessment of property in Effingham County for tax values. The organization has retained an attorney to represent them in a hearing on Jan. 26 on the motion put forward by the attorney for tax board members to dismiss the case.

After this hearing on Jan 26 at 1:30 p.m., the court will set a date to hear the petition of We, the Taxpayers to remove three members (John Roberts, Marcus Kessler, Larry Weddle) for failing to meet the requirements of the law in carrying out their duty as members of this Board of Tax Assessors.

Citizens are reminded of the importance of filing this return of real property and of the deadline to get it done, April 1. By filing this return a taxpayer can set what they feel is the 2010 fair market value of their property, this will give the taxpayer a head start on how this value is set on their property for tax purposes.