Eye In The Sky Increases Thousands Of Richmond County Property Values

Eye In The Sky Increases Thousands Of Richmond County Property Values (Image 1)

Retired soldier Jacky Godwin was marching to the Richmond County Tax Appraiser’s Office to question his new property assessment notice Wednesday, and he wasn’t happy.

“Not at all, it’s too much. The area the house is in it, won’t sell for nothing. Two other houses, right there that won’t sell either,” he said. “It’s too high?” we asked. “Yeah,” he said.

Godwin is not alone in thinking his tax assessment is too high. This year, thousands and thousands of property values increased thanks, in part, to an eye in the sky.

“This year, we finished up the project and approximately 15,000 were corrected,” said Chief Tax Appraiser Alveno Ross.

It’s called pictometry and basically it’s aerial flights over the city taking photos of people’s property. The pictures are compared to existing property records, so if a pool is spotted, or an addition to a house that’s not part of the data, then the property value needs to be increased.

“It makes sure I’m treating all property owners the same. If I have your pool, I should have the next fellow’s pool,” said Ross.

The flights cost more than $200,000. However, since the pictometry was put in place, the office calculates more than $2.4 million in additional tax revenue has been discovered.

“We think it’s a much fairer system that everyone is measured equally,” said Ross.

But, some owners do not think a high tech search of their property is fair, at all, no matter the payoff. “I don’t like it, no I don’t. If they have that money to waste, they could patch potholes or that type of thing,” said Godwin.

More than 280 property owners have appealed their assessments, so far this year. If you have a problem with your assessment, you have until June 15th to appeal the assessment.

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