Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lowndes County explains 6,000 erroneous tax estimates

The Lowndes County assessors office is explaining an error that caused almost 20 percent of the assessment notices they sent out to show an inaccurate doubling of property tax estimates.  All counties in Georgia have been required to send assessment notices annually since 2012, which include a tax estimate for the year.

From the Albany Herald on June 28:
VALDOSTA (TNS) — The Lowndes County Board of Assessors said it sent out 33,858 Notices of Assessments to Lowndes County property owners earlier this month, and about 6,000 of the notices showed a double billing for residential property owners in Special Lighting Districts. "There was a programming error in our software, and we didn't catch it," said Silas Hrobar, Chief Appraiser for the county, who said the lighting fee was figured twice in the calculation of the estimated property tax amounts.

Special Lighting Districts are those in which the developer and then the residents have agreed to share the cost of street lights in the development.

The Notice of Assessments containing the double billing are only estimates of tax amounts which will be due in November of 2015 for the year. "The duplication error will have no impact on the actual property tax bills which will come out later this year," said Hrobar.

The mistake is unfortunate, and I'm sure it alarmed a lot of residents in the Valdosta area.  But these glitches can occur when dealing with that much data.  The Lowndes County assessors office is currently displaying this message on their website:

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