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Thursday May 28th, 2015 10:17AM

Hall Co. embarks on valuation project for lake properties

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - Several years have passed since Hall County last conducted a comprehensive review of all of the county's lakefront properties, and the Hall County Tax Assessors Office says it is past time to get a better picture of the value of those properties.

Hall County's Chief Appraiser Steve Watson acknowledges that the sale prices of lakefront property exceed county-appraised values in most cases, despite the recent economic downturn. Plus, he said the real estate market is improving in Hall County, and that means the disparity is even great.

"Equalization is nothing new. We're constantly analyzing and updating property values, however, this project is extremely large and complex," said Watson.

As part of the real estate equalization project, Watson said a qualified vendor - GMASS - has been hired to assist staff with the lakefront property reappraisals.

"The involvement of GMASS will make this process more accurate and more efficient due to the complexities of this resource-intensive task," Watson said. "They give us the best chance to succeed."

Watson explained that the project is resource-intensive due to the scope of work needed to assess the approximately 6,500 lakefront parcels in Hall County.

"We could do the project in-house but not without neglecting other very important and necessary equalization projects and day-to-day operations," he said. "GMASS gives us the ability to conduct our normal day-to-day business involving the other roughly 70,000 parcels that aren't located on the lake and still get this very important project done at the same time."

Watson said lakefront property owners may notice a contractor or a member of the Hall County Tax Assessors Office inspecting their property in coming months as a part of this process. The inspections will not take place inside homes and the appraisers' cars will be clearly marked. In addition, if a resident is not home at the time of the inspection, a sign will be left on the front door of the home to inform the resident that an appraiser has visited the property to verify and/or update Hall County's appraisal records.

Watson said the goal of the project is to equally disburse the property tax burden by making sure that all properties in Hall County are assessed at fair market value.

The project is expected to be completed by May 2014 when next year's property assessment notices are mailed.

Taxpayers with questions or concerns may contact:
Susan Taylor, Appraisal Manager/Project Manager 770.531.6755 staylor@hallcounty.org
Steve Watson, Director/Chief Appraiser 770.531.6733 rswatson@hallcounty.org

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