Whitfield County Assessors freezing property evaluations

Walker County rolls back tax rate to offset rising evaluations

DALTON, Georgia (WDEF) – Whitfield County is pushing “pause” on property taxes this year while they consider their options.

The Board of Assessors on Tuesday voted to set aside any changes to the tax digest for now and return to the valuations from last year.

They will send a letter to property owners later this week to explain.

But they warn the action is only temporary and you should expect values to shoot up again “in the near future.”

This is not just a Whitfield County problem, though.

State law requires property re-evaluations and they have gone through the roof this year.

But other neighboring counties have simply dropped the millage rate to offset raised evaluations, meaning no actual increase in your taxes.

However, Whitfield commissioners have not signaled they are willing to do that.

Instead, the Board of Assessors is taking the action of freezing evaluations to give local leaders more time to settle on your property tax rate.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Board says:

The Board of Assessors expects that there will be “significant” increases in property values in the near future. In their letter to taxpayers, the Board says that in the coming months that the elected officials and professional staff of the county and city governments in Whitfield County will be working with consultants and state leaders to “quickly and effectively identify and employ the most successful solutions for limiting the impact on real property tax owners in the future.”

Again, your property valuation is NOT your property tax rate.  It is up to your local government to set the tax rate (called the millage rate).

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Meanwhile, Walker County’s Commission changed their minds about their property tax rate.

They had planned to roll back the millage to offset some of the evaluations, but also keeping it high enough to increase taxes.

But last week, they announced that they will abandon the tax hike idea.

Instead they are rolling the millage rate back to offset the higher valuations.

“We need to be sensitive when we set a millage rate,” said District 4 Commissioner Robert Stultz. “$30 could mean a water bill or a tank of gas.”

This only affects part of your property tax bill.

The school board still plans on raising their side of the property tax rate.

Categories: Featured, Local News, Walker County, Whitfield County