Tommy Nathan Henson was sworn in as the third member of the Board of Assessors (BOA) last Friday, (August 29) during a regular meeting of the board. Henson served previously on the board, making the swearing in almost a formality.
Henson is a native of Fannin County with a background in the appraisal and banking industries. He is also a licensed real estate agent.
He has completed a 40 hour certification process in order to be on the board.
Henson told FYN:
"I really love this county and I am proud to live here." "I want everyone in the county be treated fairly and with uniformity. I want to instill trust, integrity and confidence back into the tax assessors office.“
He also added:
"I have complete confidence in the Chief Appraiser and staff at this point and I am very proud of the workload they have taken on as well as all have jumped on board to make sure all customers are handled promptly and fairly."
In other BOA business:
The Fanin County Board of Commissioners (BOC) voted earlier in the week to approve the BOA’s contractual agreement with Georgia Mass Appraisal Solutions and Services (GMASS).
According to the company’s website, GMASS has provided services to more than 75 counties. This includes Gilmer and Pickens counties.
The company will provide assistance for rural land appraisals. The number of parcels to be appraised is 12,324. The upper limit of cost entailed is $39,450.
The board also approved an expenditure for GPS systems in county vehicles. The systems cost $236.00 each for a total of $947.00 (equipping 4 vehicles).
The number of active appeals as of Friday, August 29 was 477. Chief Appraiser, Dawn Cochran told the board that Friday was the last day in order to appeal a property appraisal.
She also stated that 35 parcels would be reviewed by the Board of Equalization and (should there be agreement between the two bodies) subject to repossession.
There was considerable discussion at both the BOA meeting, and the prior BOC meeting, regarding the issue of taxing timber.
The problem of tracking timber profits was discussed at both meetings. Apparently, some timber owners fail to claim timber profits-often bartering the timber in order to purchase other goods, rather than accept a cash purchase that would be subject to the tax.
Although Fannin County does not have a substantial timber industry (such as areas of South Georgia) it was the opinion of some that a mechanism to prevent evasion of the tax should be utilized. One possibility would be to require a ‘timber cutting permit.’