Franklin sets reassessment appeals board

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, August 27, 2014

FRANKLIN—If you were unhappy with how the reassessment lowered or increased your property value, you can get your chance to be heard, said Commissioner of Revenue Brenda Rickman.

Serving on the Board of Equalization, which hears appeals of the reassessment of real estate, will be Robert P. Petty, Darlene H. Smithwick and Roland Jernigan. Ronald B. Cornwell is an alternate should one be unable to attend a meeting. Members of the appeals board have to have a variety of experience. One member needs to be involved in real estate, one member a developer, and one member involved in the legal or financial business.

Four meetings are already scheduled for Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sept. 18, from 1 to 5 p.m., Sept. 23; from 1 to 5 p.m.; and on Sept 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. These meetings are open to the public, but if you are not already on the agenda for one of those dates, you would have to call to make an appointment for a future date. New since last reassessment, Rickman said, is that the office is required to give a 45-day notice.

If you contact the real estate clerk at 562-4870, she will take your name and contact information and send out a notice for your hearing.

During the waiting period, property owners can visit the the office to look over the documents and reassessment records that are available. One of the books available lets you see what neighboring properties were assessed at, to help you compare. You could also prepare independent information to help your case, such as documents involving refinancing.

“You shouldn’t just come in and say, ‘I think this is incorrect,’” Rickman said. “You need documentation.

“The assessment is presumed to be correct. It is up to the taxpayer to prove that it is incorrect.”

Also, if you go before the Board of Equalization, it could also affect your neighbor.

“That has happened in the past,” Rickman said. “You might not be the one to go in and complain, but you might get an increase in property value.”

Property owners might also wish to have their property go back down in value, as city officials use the reassessment in figuring property taxes.

Board of Equalization terms go through Nov. 30, and if dates need to be scheduled past that, Rickman said they could be extended by a judge’s order. Though she added that has never happened.

Last year, Rickman said, the board only met for 16 hours.

For more information, call the real estate clerk at 562-4870.