Assessment complaints ‘more like a typical year’
Published 10:32 pm Friday, April 17, 2009
Most Suffolk residents now have received their real estate assessments in the mail, along with a bill for their taxes.
“We’ve had a few calls,” Suffolk assessor Sid Daughtrey said. “It’s really been more like a typical year.”
Daughtrey said some calls are simply from people who don’t understand the meaning of the notice. Some, however, have been concerned about why their property assessment rose or fell.
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“Some people have a few issues,” he said.
Daughtrey was named the assessor in November after a turbulent assessment process last year that resulted in City Council firing Maria Kattmann, Daughtrey’s predecessor. Residents filed multiple complaints against Kattmann’s office last spring over what they said were unfair and inconsistent assessments. Nearly 74 percent of appeals filed last year were lowered, many of which were from waterfront property owners.
For people who feel their assessment is unfair or incorrect, the first step is to call the assessor’s office at 514-7475. The appraiser who handled the property can verify the facts in the city’s records about the building, which can clear up some problems simply, Daughtrey said.
If the property owner still is not satisfied, the next step is to appeal to the board of equalization. The appeal forms can be downloaded at www.suffolk.va.us/assessor/forms.html, or the assessor’s office can mail or fax the forms, Daughtrey said.
For last year’s tornado victims, the process could be a bit more complicated. Daughtrey said the homes demolished in last year’s April 28 tornado were taken off the books, but some people could have unique situations. They can contact the assessor’s office in the same manner as anyone else who has a concern, Daughtrey said.