His office is crunching the numbers, but Augusta's Chief Tax Appraiser says preliminary results show Augusta's property values will increase by 1.2 percent. “In the scheme of things of this digest size it's a modest adjustment we consider strong growth crossing the three point five range four percent we consider that strong growth, one point two at best were pleased to see growth,” says Alveno Ross.
Only 9,000 parcels went up in value, 5,000 came down in value, and 62,000 show no growth at all, leaving the city with a very little bump.
“At least we do have growth, says Mayor Deke Copenhaver, “I'm looking to the future it does not concern me too much I wish it was higher but we'll keep working on it.”
The city has been working on helping the Tax Assessor's Office increase property value. One step is by using pictometry, or aerial photography, to study properties for improvements.
Back in February, Augusta Commissioners approved four new employees, as well.
Commissioners banked on the technology bringing in $1 million in additional tax revenue, but early calculations show that figure will be closer to $500,000.
“You didn't get a million dollars did you?” we quizzed Ross. “No, and that's not a function of the Board of Assessors,” he said.
City leaders balanced this year's budget, believing there would be $1 million in new revenue, instead of just $500,000.
“We're going to have to make that up?” we asked the Mayor. “That was the projection. Obviously, this is the first time we've really done that, so it didn't quite meet our expectations,” says Mayor Copenhaver.
Ross says Commissioners approved the $165,000 for the four new employees in February. As of Tuesday, candidates are still being interviewed. He says their impact will not be felt until next year.