FORSYTH COUNTY -- Forsyth County will be sending out new tax assessment letters after discovering an error on tax estimates that made next year’s payment look lower than it likely will be.
The county’s tax assessors’ office sent out the statements last week with incorrect information due to bond millage rates that were not shown in the notices, though a section on property values was correct.
Mary Kirkpatrick, the department’s director, said she wasn’t sure what happened to cause the error, but the numbers on the letter would be lower than actual taxes.
“For some reason, and we’re trying to determine where and how this happened, it did not pick up the county bond portion of the millage rate,” she said. “It’s showing that they’re going to owe less taxes than they’re going to owe, and we didn’t think that was a fair thing to do to people.”
The millage rate is the formula that calculates property taxes. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value, which is 40 percent of the actual market value.
Assessments feature a description of property and estimated taxes based on the previous year’s millage rate.
Kirkpatrick said no date has been set for sending out the corrected assessments.
“We have the vendor looking to see what went wrong in our program. This is the same program we’ve used for years and never had a problem with it, and we don’t have any idea what went wrong this time,” she said.
“We really are trying to determine what happened, where the fault is, how it’s going to proceed from here and how quickly we can get it repaired.”
Though the county’s millage rate won’t be finalized until the Forsyth County commission and Board of Education approve the rates,
Kirkpatrick said that she doesn’t believe there would be a lot of difference this year from last year.
She said an actual increase could come for those whose property values went up.
“If we had your house value at $325,000 last year and [it] goes up to $385,000 this year, that is something that you could appeal, that could make you pay a little bit more taxes and that is all correct on this notice.”
Owners can appeal their property’s assessed value.
The tax assessors’ office is located at the Forsyth County administration building and can be reached by phone at (770) 781-2106. More information is available online at www.forsythco.com/Departments-Offices/Board-of-Assessors or http://bit.ly/1TRCCU0.