Equalization Board to commence work, hear appeals

Saturday, August 2, 2008

CARROLL COUNTY -- The Carroll County Equalization Board meets during the months of August and September to hear petitions from property owners who feel their property has been assessed in error or unfairly.

The five-member board is appointed by various agencies in the county. The schools, the cities and the county judge each appoint one member, and the Quorum Court appoints two. Terms are staggered.

This year's board is Brian Talley, Don McClung, Pam Grudek, Michael Tisevich and Gerald Swofford.

The last reappraisal was in 2006; the next will be in 2009, as the county reappraises every three years.

Dennis Wells, project manager for the Arkansas Cama Technology Company, the firm that does the assessments for the county, said 869 new construction notices were mailed this year.

The board meets annually, even though reappraisals are not done every year. The board meets on or near Aug. 1 to elect its chairman, look at how many petitions have been received and begin to set a meeting schedule to hear them.

"Any taxpayer can appeal their value in any year," Wells said.

He said property values are currently based on the 1995 cost manual, recommended by the state, purchase prices filed with deeds of sales and also at values of surrounding neighborhood structures.

The assessor may "throw out" of the appraisal formula purchase prices that are either too high or too low for the average in a neighborhood, he said.

For the upcoming appraisal cycle next year, falling property values may significantly impact assessments.

"If property values keep going down, 2009 could be lower than 2006," Wells said.

Property owners can find out information on their own and their neighbors' assessed values by going to the Web site actdatascout.com. Click on "Carroll County" and search for properties by property ID, parcel, name, property address, subdivision or S-T-R (section-township-range).

Applications to petition the board this year must be received in the county clerk's office by Aug. 18. The office closes at 4:30 p.m. Applications can be obtained from County Clerk Shirley Doss at 210 West Church St. or by fax, mail or by calling (870) 423-2022.

Once the application is submitted, the board will set a time and date for the appeal hearing and notify the property owner.

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