The Charlton County Tax Assessors Office (CCTAO) is currently conducting a comprehensive review of all residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties inside the county.
Charlton officials voted to contract with GMASS to assist with this project. The company will do on-site data entry, which is sent directly to the office in order to receive the most accurate information, which the county will own. There are nine employees who will go door to door evaluating each property. Every GMASS personnel member will carry a badge and drive a marked car showing the company’s name and that they are contracted with the county. The Charlton County Sheriff’s Office also has photo I.D.s as well as car identification.
“They’re doing a good job,” said Chief Appraiser Layne York, “and so far everyone has been receptive”.
The reevaluation has begun and will continue until 2022. The state requires the re-assessment be done every three years. So the county has been broken up into three sections, each one having a year to be completed.
“This process is to keep our ‘stuff’ right,” said York, “and makes sure everyone is treated equal”.
After the third year, a routine will be established to help keep Charlton in compliance. If the requirements are not met, the county could face fines and the state could eventually intervene. Currently the county is in danger of falling out of compliance.
“We’ve got to get back to where we need to be,” said York.
Each county must complete the Sales Ratio Study. The study shows if a property is being sold for its true value or if the amount is higher or lower than the sold price. It is also used as proof for the state to determine if the assessor’s office is doing its job correctly and if the county’s digest may be passed. If the information received from the CCTAO does not show uniformity and fairness, the county could have to pay fines for each property.
“This is very important,” said York, “it’s more than just about appraising properties”.
As for what citizens may expect for their property taxes, York says there should not be a noticeable difference. Those who will see an influx would be residents who have added another structure to their property or have made additions to their homes. He expects 75 to 80 percent of the county will not notice a difference.
York shared, “We’re just trying to get everything done – to make everything equal and uniformed”.