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Berkeley Co. to hear assessment appeals

Hearings to begin today

Hearings to begin today

January 30, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Owners of real estate that has increased in assessed value by 10 percent or more over the previous year will have their first opportunity to appeal the findings of Berkeley County Assessor Preston B. Gooden's office this afternoon.

The Berkeley County Commission will convene today as the Board of Review and Equalization from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Commission chambers on the second floor the Dunn Building at 400 W. Stephen St. in Martinsburg.

The Board of Review and Equalization also will consider appeals from 2 to 4 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday of next week and on Feb. 9, Feb. 12 and 13 and Feb. 17.

Gooden said Thursday that about 4,000 letters were sent to property owners who had a double digit assessment increase and "a good portion" of them are business/commercial parcels.

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Since taking office in 2005, Gooden said the assessor's office has increased staff to catch up on property assessments, including commercial property.

Last year, the county assessor's office sent about 8,000 assessment increase notices, down about half from approximately 16,000 mailed in 2006, Gooden said.

Assessed values of residential properties probably have "stabilized or decreased" in some districts of the county, but Gooden said there was no big overall drop.

Given the few phone calls his office has fielded, Gooden doesn't anticipate a large number of requests for reconsideration.

"It's almost depressingly quiet," Gooden said.

More information about filing an appeal can obtained by contacting the Assessor's office at 304-264-1904 or the Berkeley County Commission at 304-264-1923.

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