Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Old Farmers' Market II

I heard back from one of the appraisers at the Tax Assessor’s office yesterday. He graciously tried to answer my arcane questions, but could not tell me how much of that Department of Agriculture property the Unified Government leases nor the value of the property and building that collectively make up the former Farmers’ Market. No surprise there, as little effort is made to accurately determine the value of properties that are exempt from property tax which, as I’ve already noted, is perfectly reasonable.

Even so, I was told that the property was zoned “commercial-general” (CG), which means that it is deemed appropriate for all manner of uses. Although there have been no recent sales of similar properties in the area, I was told that $250,000 to $300,000 per acre would be a reasonable expectation for the value of the land (with the caveat that such a range was merely a guesstimate). Assuming an average value of $275,000 per acre, that 1.336 acres that may constitute the property leased by the Unified Government (see previous post) comes out to $367,400.

Using the “Tax Estimator” function on the Tax Assessor’s web site, that would yield $4879.07 in property tax for this year if the property was not tax exempt. Note however, that this is for the land only and includes no improvements whatsoever. The corresponding figure for the entire 4.55 acre site would be $16,616.60. Again, this figure ignores any improvements.

Consider that"real estate broker" estimate of $20,000 from 2003 (the way I read the article is that it pertains only to the Farmers’ Market portion of the property as it mentions a “1-acre tract”). Assuming an improved value of $3 million, again from that 2003 estimate, the figure rises to $39,840.00

For what it is worth, I was also told that properties along the West Broad Street commercial corridor to the west of Alps Road/Hawthorne Avenue generally command higher prices that do those to the east, where the Farmers’ Market property is located.

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2 comments:

Winfield J. Abbe said...

I wrote the State long ago suggesting they sell this dormant property and place it back on the tax rolls. I hope they finally do so.
This is another possible location, of many, which Athens could have developed for an expanded water business office. Instead, the prejduced commissioners and Mayor wasted about $ 2 million for the purchase of the old Athens Federal building at Hancock and Lumpkin and just last night voted to waste another $2.7 million renovating it.
It has unnecessarily been taken off the tax rolls forever for the selfish whims of an elitist minority in this town who believe it is the job of government to force property taxpayers to pay for improving old buildings. This wasteful nonsense mirrors the same wasteful attitude in squandering multi millions of dollars for decadent fancy brick fire stations that could have been constructed for a fraction of the cost, not to mention the unfairness of it all with the selfish citizens of Five Points receiving a nearly $ 6 million Taj Mahal fire station in the worst section of town which land on which it sits was taken off the tax rolls forever too. The former Downtowner Motel was one of the most valuable pieces of land in Athens. I proposed placing the fire station a few blocks away on already public lands on East Campus Rd an already 4 lane road with relatively little traffic; they totally disregarded this proposal which would have basically provided the land for "free" as it was already public land owned by UGA. The Athens Clarke County property taxpayers are also forced to provide the fire protection for UGA and the Navy School too. Five Points already had a fire station but those citizens on Danielsville and Commerce Rds. had none and they should have had first priority instead of last. Athens is basically run by an elitist minority of selfish, unfair, disrespectful, irresponsible, extravagant, tyrants, who abuse their misguided authority and throw public tax money around like it was going out of style. I think they do not have a conscience. My earlier proposal also demonstrated how they could have obtained the land for the Oglethorpe Fire Station for "free" too, by placing it on already public land, the Navy School; they disregarded this proposal too. These cockey, arrogant non representative officials do not want any comment from citizens; they think they know it all as they know they can use the threats of force of fines, jail time and confiscation our property to pay the outrageous costs of their wasteful whims.

james said...

Mr. Abbe

We are of the same opinion about many things.

For years, I have protested the manner in which property is continually removed from the tax roll by the Unified Government and the Board of Education, to no avail whatsoever.

By the way, did you see my post from 02 February about the O'Mally's property?