Madison County residents who think their properties are improperly valued have until April 1 to file a property tax return.
Chief appraiser Robin Baker says those wanting to file a return should visit the Madison County Tax Assessors office in the county government complex.
“They just need to come in to the office and look at the values, and see if they agree with it,” said Baker. “If they don’t, they can file a return on it. And they can do that while they’re in the office.”
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution recently published an article declaring that “tens of thousands of homes across metro Atlanta were overvalued last year by county tax assessors, who didn’t adjust values sufficiently after the historic real estate collapse.”
Madison County’s overall tax digest dipped slightly last year. The real and personal tax digest — or overall county property value — for Madison County in 2009 was $729.6 million, down less than one half of one percent from $732.8 in 2008.
Though the county digest has dipped slightly over the past two years, the county’s overall property values in 2009 were still $187 million — or 34.5 percent — more than they were in 2004 — $729.6 million versus $542.4 million.
Between 2004 and 2007, during the housing boom, Madison County property values jumped 35.7 percent from $542 million to a peak of $736 million in 2007.
Baker said values are down “compared to 2007.”
“They’re about where they were last year, I believe,” he said. “There are more foreclosures on the market that we have to deal with. And I think until the foreclosures are off the market, things are going to continue to be the way they are. Because construction starts aren’t going to happen until the foreclosures are gone. Why buy a new house when you can by a foreclosure?”