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Politics & Local Govts.

Jan. 14 - Camden County Tax Assessor releases "You Are Why We're Here" campaign report

By Lou Phelps, Brunswick Business Journal Staff Report

January 14, 2015 - Did you know there are 30,863 real estate parcels in Camden County? Imagine Camden County divided into 30,863 pieces, according to the Tax Assessor’s department.

Imagine having to keep track of the assessed value - about $4 billion for the entire county - of all those parcels, they add.

That laborious task falls to the Camden County Tax Assessor's Office. The Tax Assessor's Office falls under the purview of the Board of Assessors, an independent board whose five members are appointed to four-year terms by the Board of Commissioners.

In discussing their role, “the Tax Assessor's Office does not send county residents a tax bill. The tax bill comes from the Tax Commissioner's Office, which is a Constitutional Office, based on the millage rate as set by the Board of County Commissioners,” they remind residents. The Tax Assessor's Office’s role is only to value of real and personal property and produce the Tax Digest as mandated by Georgia law.

The Appraisal Process

The appraisal of all property in the county for the tax digest is done by mass appraisal, which is the systematic and uniform appraisal of multiple properties and allows for statistical review and analysis of the results.

Mass appraisals are not individual, site-specific appraisals such as would be done for a bank appraisal. Once the appraised values have been finalized an analysis is done to compare appraisal values to sale prices to ensure compliance with the Department of Audits and the Department of Revenue requirements.

The Tax Digest then goes to the Board of Assessors for approval. From there, it goes to the Tax Commissioner and finally to the Board of Commissioners.

According to Chief Appraiser Terry Ross, who has more than 20 years’experience in appraising and is a Level 4 Appraiser (the highest level offered by the Georgia Department of Revenue),
“it is a complex and sometimes daunting yet manageable task.”

He also added that property owners have the right to appeal the appraised value to the Board of Equalization. Appeals can be based on several factors, two of which include the property owner's belief that property is not valued using the same appraisal method as similar properties or that the property may be exempt from ad valorem taxation.

The amount of taxes is not an appealable issue. The actual amount of the tax bill is calculated by using 40% of the appraised value adjusted by frozen homestead values, accounting for other exemptions that have been granted, and by tax millage rates as set.

For more questions about the appraisal process, The Tax Assessor's Office can be reached at 912.576.3241. Substantial information is also available online at


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