Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Lowndes County to begin appointing assessors

In most of Georgia, property tax assessors are appointed to their positions. In Lowndes County, this has been an elected position. That will change now that voters have approved the appointment of assessors going forward. The stated reason for the change is that elected assessors don't always have the training and expertise to carry out their duties. From the Dalton Citizen:

Assessor referendum passes

By John Stephen
VALDOSTA, Ga. — The Lowndes County special ballot asking if tax assessors should be appointed narrowly passed 50.27 to 49.73 percent, according to the county’s board of elections.
Results show 18,293 people voted for tax assessors to be appointed by county commissioners, and 18,095 people voted for tax assessors to continue being elected by the public — a difference of only 198 votes.
While all votes from local precincts were counted after Election Day on Nov. 8, up to 2,000 provisional, absentee and military ballots still needed to be counted. Until those remaining votes were tallied at the elections office on Tuesday, Nov. 15, the race was too close to call.
Currently, Lowndes County tax assessors are elected by the public. In every other county in Georgia, tax assessors are appointed by the county commissioners.
The ballot asked if the state should repeal the constitutional amendment that mandates Lowndes County tax assessors be elected. Now that the repeal has passed, tax assessors will be appointed by the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners starting in 2021.
The county commissioners pioneered the ballot question after discussing the change for several years. Board of Commissioners Chairman Bill Slaughter said while the current tax assessors have good intentions, he questioned whether they have the managerial skills necessary to oversee the large tax assessor’s office...

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