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Appraisal challenge moving on
Course owners seeking relief
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Forsyth County News

The Forsyth County Board of Tax Assessors decided Thursday not to adjust the value of two golf courses, and forwarded the appeal to the board of equalization.

The owners of Lanier Golf Club addressed the tax assessors panel in October, asking it to review the appraisals for Lanier and Hampton Golf Village.

After the review, board members voted 4-0, with Ken Leach recusing himself, to send the appeal to the board of equalization.

That panel, in turn, will review the appraisals and issue its own decision.

Tax Assessor Mary Kirkpatrick said if the board ruled in favor of the owners, the courses could have their value locked in for three years.

The value has essentially remained static since an across-the-board reassessment of county courses in 2007, Kirkpatrick said.

While addressing the tax assessor’s board in October, co-owner Jack Manton said both courses had been appraised at three times the fair market value.

He and George Bagley Jr. filed an appeal earlier this year, objecting to the more than $3.6 million appraisal of the 172-acre Lanier Golf Club and the $3.4 million of the 175-acre Hampton.

Those values were determined using a traditional appraisal method, which Manton argued is not valid in the current state of the golf course industry.

Under an income approach, he said, Lanier in east Forsyth would be valued at $1.05 million and Hampton in north Forsyth at $1.2 million.

The income approach, which he said is how sales of golf courses are conducted, is based on the income times a multiplier based on what a buyer would actually pay.

According to Manton in October, "The most that a golf course that takes in $1.05 million can [sell for] is one times that number. It turns out to be a multiple of one because it matches my revenues, and that’s how they’re all sold."

The tax assessor’s board said at the time that the county doesn’t currently use that methodology of determining value.