According to May 8 Atlanta Business Chronicle, home prices in Georgia decreased 7.3 percent in March of this year. The state of Georgia ranks No. 4 in the five states with the greatest home depreciation in the nation. Georgia Watch, the state’s leading consumer advocacy organization, says the value of 2 million Georgia homes decreased by an average of $1,920 in 2011.The average drop in 2012 is expected to number 3 million homes at more than $4,600 per home.
Some home values in Georgia have fallen 30 percent or more in the past two years because of the foreclosure “spillover” effect, causing the value of neighboring properties to depress. One in eight homes is on the verge of foreclosure in Georgia. The Fiserv Case-Shiller Analysis does not show that home values will begin to rise until 2013 or 2014.
Columbia County’s Board of Tax Assessors says my home has increased in value by $27,186 in one year; indeed, most of my neighbors have a $25,000 to $28,000 increase. Columbia County’s home values have increased by 33 percent, while Metro Atlanta values fell 8.1 percent and the rest of Georgia 7.3 percent.
As a 52-year resident of Columbia County, I would like Tom Schneider, Charles Sharpe, Terry Randolph, Linda Loyd and Wes Fuller (the Columbia County Board of Tax Assessors) to explain this Draconian tax increase, reminiscent of King George the Third, whose taxes fermented rebellion among the 13 colonies, and tell us why Columbia County home values increase while they plummet in the rest of our state and nation.
Thomas “Woody” Highsmith