Beginning today, Hamilton County residents will start receiving the first property appraisals from the assessor of property's office in four years.
Briefing county commissioners Thursday, Assessor of Property Bill Bennett told the group the first notices would be sent to county residents living in East Brainerd, Ooltewah and Apison. Every four years, the office is required to assess the value of properties by the state of Tennessee.
Bennett said that appraisal notices would continue being delivered in batches of 25,000 until March 8. Residents who find issues with their appraisal should contact Bennett's office, and if issues persist, a board of equalization will consider questions and make a final decision.
"It will take all of June for the board to handle," Bennett said.
Bennett added that he expected appraisals would reflect "substantial new growth" in Hamilton County over the past year. He said that the number of real estate transfers recorded by the county totaled 14,101 in 2012, an increase from 11,822 property transfers recorded by his office in 2011.
"Things did turn around," he said. "It's a lot better. And the economy has been better in Chattanooga and Hamilton County than in a lot of places."
Bennett said he expected his office to process roughly 150,000 reappraisals in the county, including 139,000 residential properties. Following the reappraisal process, he said his office would determine a "certified tax rate" reflecting property values but could not predict how the rate would differ from the current level tallied by the county.
"It could go down a little bit, it could go up a little bit," he said.
In other news, commissioners held a brief recessed meeting to consider and approve two resolutions. The resolutions included an amendment to the county's employee handbook, which would require workers to report arrests or charges other than minor traffic offenses to their supervisors.
The resolution passed unanimously.