Based on initial figures, the county's total assessed property valuations have declined by $23.3 million, county assessor Debbie Griffith reported to the Board of County Commissioners on Monday.
On Dec. 30, 2012, she reported a total county assessed value of $320.4 million. On Dec. 30, 2013, she will report a total county assessed value of approximately $297.1 million, she explained.
This year's assessed value figure is not completely finalized, she added. That is because it doesn't yet include oil and gas properties nor property that is assessed by the state, and some valuation appeals to the Board of Adjustments are yet to be decided.
Griffith told the commissioners that her office had 248 appeals of property valuations this year. Of those, 128 were adjusted either up or down. There were 109 that were denied, and another 11 that were satisfied with an explanation.
"We had a significant number of people who wanted their property adjusted upward in value," Griffith said.
There could be several reasons for that. Even though a higher assessed value will raise a homeowner's tax bill, if that homeowner is trying to sell or refinance their house, a higher value on the county records could help the property look good. Also, Griffith pointed out the personal psychological factor of people not wanting to feel "underwater" every month when they write out a mortgage payment.
The assessor's property valuations are based on actual sales in the county, and over a third of those in the most recent survey of residential property involved foreclosures.
Griffith also commented on Delta County's situation with assessing oil and gas properties. A new proposal being circulated, if ever adopted, would direct county assessors to consider only the actual production of oil and gas wells for tax purposes. That would hurt Delta County, Griffith said, because only one of more than 20 wells here is actually producing.
In addition, the county's wells are new ones with lots of personal property tax value in new equipment that would be lost if production only were considered for tax purposes, Griffith added.blog comments powered by Disqus