COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Property taxpayers and city leaders are on the edge of their seats Tuesday- waiting to possibly hear what tax values will be paid at the Columbus City Council meeting.
This comes after the Muscogee County Board of Tax Assessors voted to table city council's request to roll back property tax assessments to 2016 numbers last week.
Columbus City Councilor Walker Garrett says the investment is frozen in the city because people are afraid their property tax numbers could jump sky high.
"I've had some people that have had a 3,300 percent increase," Garrett tells News Leader 9's Parker Branton.
Garrett is one of several Columbus city councilors fighting for property taxpayers that are hoping the board of tax assessors will review new property tax assessments.
"This isn't a case where we are trying to help out a few people or one segment of the population, this is north, south, east, and west Columbus," Garrett says.
The board of tax assessors is appointed by Columbus city council but don't answer to them.
"To ensure fairness in the property assessment and valuation system and to keep politics from being involved in our establishing a fair and accurate property tax digest," says Board of Tax Assessors Chairman Chester Randolph.
"There have been people that alleged that this is not something that should be a political process and councilors shouldn't get involved, but who is going to represent our citizens if we don't," says Garrett.
The District 8 councilor says he asked the board a number of questions that he says were going to be answered and still haven't.
- Was the board instructed not to attend last council meeting?
- What would be done to those who never received notice/never had time to appeal?
- Did they review values before delivering notices?
"Those are things that should've been answered and could've been answered in the public light and I find it very concerning I didn't get answers," he says.
City leaders say they will continue to voice taxpayers concerns and hopefully, they will have an answer from the board of tax assessors at Tuesday's council meeting.
"When we are trying to seek global relief for all of our taxpayers I think that's a point where they need to take councils opinion into consideration," Garrett tells Branton.
Chief Deputy Appraiser John Williams tells Branton over the phone, "The board will have a representative at Tuesday's council meeting."