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Friday, December 31, 2010 - 3:44am

New Law To Ease Assessment Process

Relief is on the way for homeowners who have been hit with rising property taxes in a depressed market. That relief is in the form of a new state law going into effect with the new year.

Foreclosures, distressed and short sales have run roughshod through the real estate market, but in a lot of cases, counties have tied tax bills to artificially high values.

A new law aims at swinging the pendulum more toward the homeowner in the appraisal process.

One of the new key aspects—counties must send taxpayers a property value notice every year, whether the value changes or not.

Previously, counties only sent notices when values changed. State senate Majority Leader, Republican Chip Rogers, sponsored the legislation in the General Assembly. He says that gives homeowners a better chance to appeal.

“Filing an appeal will be much more easy. Everyone will have a right to appeal that did not exist prior to this. And the assessment process is one that should yield the fair market value.”

The law also extends the appeals period from 30 to 45 days.

Rogers says appraisers must also take into account short-sales, distressed and bank sales when figuring property value.