What is the purpose of the Tax Assessors' Office?
What is fair market value?
How are real estate taxes calculated?
How is fair market value determined?
How often are properties reassessed?
Will additions or renovations increase the value of my property?
The Tax Assessors' Office maintains records of all properties (real and personal) within the county, including, but not limited to the current property owner and fair market value. The Board of Tax Assessors directs a staff of appraisers to obtain and review all characteristics of each property within the county to insure the accuracy of the property record. These records are maintained by a staff of appraisal clerks. Each year, the compilation of these records results in a tax digest.
The Tax Assessors' Office is also designated to receive property tax returns for real and personal property. They also accept applications for exempt property, preferential agricultural assessment, conservation use valuation and Freeport exemption.
Fair market value of property means the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm’s length, bona fide sale.
Fair Market Value x 40% = Assessed Value
Assessed Value x Millage Rate* = Tax Amount (in dollars)
$100,000 x 40% = $40,000
$40,000 x .026427 = $1057.08
*The millage rate is the tax rate determined by the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education.
The appraisal staff considers a variety of factors when determining the value of your property. Some of those factors are:
• Selling price of similar properties
• Replacement cost of structure
• Income generated by the property (used mainly in commercial valuation)
• Condition of structures
• Size of structures and land
• Any other factors deemed pertinent
In Columbia County, properties are reassessed every year.
In most cases when renovation takes place, additions are made or other improvements are added to the property, the value will increase. However, the cost in dollars of adding an item is not always equal to the value that the item contributes to the total property value. Upon receipt of your assessment notice, you may notice a larger or smaller increase in valuation than the actual cost of the construction. An increase in valuation can be due to variables other than new improvements to the property. It depends upon location, market demand and quality of construction. Cost is not always the same as value.