Reassessments bring fewer complaints

Published 8:25 am Friday, July 2, 2010

FRANKLIN—Fewer Franklin property owners are appealing their assessments this year compared to past years.

“We just haven’t seen as many people,” said Steven Wampler, project manager for the Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group, the Daleville-based firm that conducted the assessment.

Wampler estimates that around 100 people have tried to appeal their assessments this year, which he says is “a little off” from previous years.

“That includes letters, emails, faxes and informal reviews,” he said. “I had three appraisers set for it, but only needed about 1½.”

Wampler noted that the city saw an overall decrease in real estate values.

Preliminary results of the 2010 general reassessment of real estate indicated an average decrease in values of more than 5 percent for residential properties and nearly 4 percent for commercial properties.

This year’s average decline in property values follows an average increase of nearly 17 percent in 2008, when assessments were last performed. The City Council reduced the real estate tax rate from 90 cents per $100 of assessed value to 77 cents following the last reassessment.

The council voted recently to hold the tax rate at 77 cents for fiscal year 2011, despite the average drop in values.

Franklin Commissioner of the Revenue Brenda Rickman said second assessment notices are being mailed out this week.

After hearings with the assessor, property owners still unhappy with their assessments can appeal to the city’s Board of Equalization.

The board’s three members—Bob Petty, Roland Jernigan and Stan Rich—would begin meeting in July, Rickman said.