Worth County Tax Assessor Ben Barbee is asking all Worth County property owners to review, and submit their Taxpayer’s Return of Real Property forms between January 1 and April 1 of 2016. Barbee says returning the property does not mean that the taxes will increase or decrease necessarily, but he wants to ensure that all of the property assessments are correct.
The tax assessor’s office has recently updated their computer systems, and Barbee warns that there could be errors “not to the benefit of the tax payer.” Barbee explains, “For instance, let’s just say we had a glitch on your parcel, and somehow a $50,000 storage building got put on there and you didn’t look at your assessment notice. That’s five or six hundred bucks that would be added to your bill.”
Also, the Worth tax assessor reminds property owners that the law requires the form to be submitted. O.C.G.A. Section 48-5-15 (a) states, “All improved and unimproved real property in this state which is subject to taxation shall be returned in person or by mail…” Those who do not return their property are subject to a 10% fine.
Still, Barbee says his intention is to strive for fairness and uniformity. And, he reminds property owners that they could be paying too much if they don’t review their assessment notice that will be mailed out in May. Additionally, he says his office can help tax payers in a number of ways including determining if they qualify for any exemptions.
“If we do this, we ensure uniformity,” the tax assessor explains. “It takes a matter of minutes… And, just because we go out there does not mean we’re going to increase the value of the property… We’re here to help as many people as we can by being as fair as we can.”
All of the forms are available online at the DOR website: dor.georgia.gov. And, Barbee says forms can be submitted via email next year to email@example.com. The forms are also available in the tax assessor’s office.