It is that time of year for citizens of Richmond County to receive their Richmond County tax bills.

Many of you will assume that any increases in your bill are attributed to the Tax Appraisers Office and Richmond County Board of Tax Assessors. There are varying indicators and independent authorities that may raise your tax obligation that are not decided by your county Board of Tax Assessors.

This commentary provides clarification to Richmond County Taxpayers on the factual roles of your Property Appraisals Office and the Board of Tax Assessors.

The Mission of the Board of Assessors is “To provide and defend uniform fair market values on all tangible properties in Richmond County; to generate an equitable tax digest for the state of Georgia, all levying authorities, and the Tax Commissioner; and to serve as a resource for the citizens of Richmond County.”

The Tax Commissioner provides oversight to the county’s tax billing and collection department. The Tax Commissioner is responsible for mailing you your annual property tax invoice and providing other tax collection functions pertaining to your home and vehicle registrations.

The Tax Commissioner’s Office is a separate county department.

Its function/purpose is different from the Board of Tax Assessors/Property Office. The Chief Tax Appraiser provides oversight to the Property Appraisal Office and is responsible for the fair evaluation of your property for tax purposes. When a fair evaluation is arrived at, you are then taxed on 40% of that value.

The Chief Appraiser reports to the Board of Tax Assessors. The Board of Tax Assessors is established and required by state law to ensure that properties are taxed fairly, equitably and according to a prescribed time schedule. The requirement by state law that establishes the Board of Tax Assessors is found in Georgia State Code Section 48-5-103.

There are required functions and methods utilized to arrive at fair and equitable property values. Appraisal staff performing the evaluations for various categories of property must be certified to perform these evaluations. Required classes must be completed and final examinations passed to obtain each advancing appraiser level designation.

Board of Assessor members must also take required classes and final examinations that must be passed in order to serve on the Board of Tax Assessors. Continuing education hours are required of Board of Tax Assessors members as well as all appraisal staff. These education requirements are why the travel budget for the appraisal department surpasses some other departments.

The Georgia State Department of Revenue provides oversight and establishes the educational requirements and procedures for the collection of taxes in the state of Georgia. Appraisal staff and Board of Assessors members are certified to perform in their capacities by the Department of Revenue.

Be assured that your Board of Tax Assessors and appraisal staff are knowledgeable about their tasks, dedicated to performing their tasks, and committed to ensuring that professional practices are maintained in performing their tasks. Our work pertains to property valuations, and we are up-to-date and on schedule with all functional requirements and have met all statutory deadlines.

Your Board of Tax Assessors is an open, transparent body and any citizen may attend the meetings. We will never be dismissive of your concerns. We will provide you with accurate information and assistance when requested.

You may contact the office directly at (706) 821-2310 or visit our website at www.qpublic.net/ga/richmond

Richmond County Board of Tax Assessors