Gerry Gonzales challenges house valuations 10.24

Written by David Green.

Fayette council member Gerry Gonzales has a challenge for Fulton County home appraisers: He would like to see county officials buy just one house for the amount they have it valued.

Gonzales said he’s seen how much the county said his house is worth and he would like to see someone make him a purchase offer at that price.

Gonzales made his complaint at Thursday’s council meeting when county auditor Nancy Yackee visited.

Yackee explained that appraisals are made by sales studies, not by examining every single house in town. She said that sales studies are pertinent to an individual community.

“We don’t take an Archbold sale and tie it into here,” Yackee said.

Council member Mike Maginn asked where data is gathered in the current situation when houses aren’t selling. Yackee responded that the past three years of sales are used.

“It’s a struggle when you don’t have sales,” she said, “but there are some sales and the prices are coming in higher than valued.”

Yackee said the final decision in appraising comes from the Department of Taxation.

Audience member Eugene Rosinski asked how the new school would affect taxes.

There should be no changes immediately, Yackee said, but it all depends on the sale of property. She views the new school as a positive factor for the community rather than a source of increased taxes.

“It’s not all that easy to draw people to a rural community,” she said. “It’s hard. Businesses are struggling. Foreclosures are happening.”

But she believes a new school and new water wells are both factors that should work in the village’s best interest.

Yackee was asked about the county’s sources of revenue. Sales tax brings in the largest amount, but she noted it’s down about $300,000 so far from the usual figure of about $4 million.

Interest income is also a large source, and it’s growing, and real estate taxes are the third big factor.

“It’s a difficult situation,” she said. “We’re looking at where to make cuts. We’ve done that for the last three or four years, drastically.”

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