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Property owners take issue with appraisals

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Property owners in Marshall County who disagree with their appraisal notices are taking their cases to the Board of Equalization with issues as simple as goats and as complicated as the federal tax code.

"I use it as a goat barn," Susan Bender of Wade Brown Road said of a structure to which she recently attached five pieces of siding, which apparently led to an appraiser's conclusion that the goat barn could be valued at about $5,000.

"I really don't think it's worth $5,000," Bender said of the outbuilding.

She told a member of the Equalization Board that a Farm Bureau Insurance agent declined to write a policy including the structure.

All taxable properties in Marshall County are reappraised every five years to bring county records in line with market values. Changes can be appealed to the Board of Equalization. Its 2008 sessions opened Monday. They continue today and June 19 from 9 a.m. to noon, and 3 to 6 p.m. on June 17 in the offices of County Assessor Linda Haislip at the Courthouse Annex on Lewisburg's public square.

Haislip told Bender and others on Monday that Board members would make field visits at properties in question and then vote on June 19. The decision is whether the value of the properties should be adjusted so as to lower the owner's property tax bill.

Bender spoke for herself, but owners of two apartment complexes and the old ICP plant were represented by Jay Catignani, a consultant and appraiser working for Property Tax Consultants in Nashville.

Catignani appeared "to protect appeal rights," he told the board.

Owners of Saddle Wood and Acorn Hill apartments, and what was once an air conditioning and heating plant are embroiled in state administrative law court cases over the value of those properties. Such cases can take years. To maintain their position in previous hearings, they must again challenge the values set by the appraiser's office.

Built as a Heil Quaker . . .Pick up a copy of today edition, Wednesday, June 4, 2008, for entire story coverage.