School taxes, Ivan will affect tax bills

Published 10:58 pm Monday, October 4, 2004

By by Michele Gerlach
Escambia County property owners will begin receiving property tax notices as early as this Friday, Oct. 1.
Tax Assessor Jim Hildreth said many residents will be in sticker shock when they receive the notices.
"This is the first time they will see the 10 mil increase for schools," Hildreth said.
Escambia County voters approved the 10 mil increase for public education last December.
Hildreth said in Brewton and Atmore, the 10 mil increase will be a net increase of approximately 25 percent; in Flomaton, the increase will be approximately 29 percent; in East Brewton, 27 percent; and in the county approximately 40 percent.
"These numbers are a little deceiving," Hildreth said. "People in the municipalities were already paying more property taxes than in the county. That's why their increase is less of a percentage. They're paying the same dollar amount in assessed values."
Hildreth said the assessed value of property is "pretty much firm" at this point.
"For people who had damage in Hurricane Ivan, that doesn't factor in here," he said.
"These bills are based on property values in October, 2003."
Property taxes are paid in arrears; that is, notices being mailed this week are for Oct. 1, 2003, through Sept. 30, 2004.
Hildreth said anyone who had substantial property damage from Hurricane Ivan that has not been repaired by Oct. 1 of this year should report the damage to the tax assessor's office.
"We need to know if they've lost a roof, if they have decking that needs to be repaired or if the house has shifted on the foundation," he said. "There also are numerous outbuildings, barns and things that have been damaged. There is no way we can ride the whole county and make those determinations."
He said property owners with damage may call or stop by the assessor's office to report damages, or they may use an online valuation form. That form may be accessed with the following steps:
Log on to
Click on departments
Click on tax assessor
Select an item called "appraisal protest."
Complete the form and return it electronically.
Property owners who have more than one parcel need to specify the property on which the damage is located.
Property taxes are due by Dec. 31.

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