The property values of Oconee County residential, rural and commercial properties have generally increased since 2018, according to Chief Appraiser Allen Skinner. 

Skinner explained that the assessments, conducted by the Oconee County Appraisal Office, are primarily sales-driven in nature. If the appraisal office finds that a property’s current assessed value is 5 percent or more below the selling or market value, then the county makes adjustments to the assessed value. 

Factors like a land plot or building’s location, condition, size and year built all influence a property’s assessed value. The appraisal office also considers those factors in tandem with the assessed value of other nearby and/or similar properties.

One of the other factors which Skinner posited could influence property values was the public school system. 

“I think there’s lots of reasons people want to come to this county, but I think the biggest reason is because of our school system,” Skinner said.

He also mentioned traffic and the amount of rural land as other factors that affect property values.  

Assessed property values from 2018 were used to help determine this year’s property assessments. County land, home and building owners received a notice for the up-to-date assessments in April. 

Appeal process

Property owners have the option of appealing assessed values before the appeal deadline on July 1, said Skinner. 

He cautioned that being dissatisfied with one’s property taxes is not a valid reason to appeal a property assessment.

“All that we are trained to determine is what their (properties’) fair market value is,” Skinner said. “People have to understand that what their taxes are [are] based on their value [multiplied by] the millage rate. We have no control over the millage or tax rate.”

The school board and county commissioners, along with county towns, have the authority to change their millage rates.

Those interested in appealing can appeal their properties’ assessed values by using a PT 311-A form, available through the Appraisal Office’s form webpage, or by writing an appeal letter to the office, stating why they think their property value is less than the value for which it was appraised.

For more on this story, see the June 27 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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