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5700 property tax assessment appeals filed in Pulaski Co.

Owners of 5700 pieces of property in Pulaski County appealed their tax assessments by Monday's 4:30 p.m. deadline.
PULASKI COUNTY, AR - Owners of 57-hundred pieces of property in Pulaski County appealed their tax assessments by Monday's 4:30 p.m. deadline.

Property owners flooded the Pulaski County Assessor's Office with calls Monday, and, when many could not get through, they showed up in person to file appeals.

"I knew this was my last day, so I just came on in," said property owner Sharon Peitz.

"I found out that my property was worth $20,000 more than I thought it was the other day," complained property owner Joseph Kelly.

Kelly joined hundreds of other property owners to fight his assessment, saying there is no way his Little Rock home near the Governor's Mansion went up 12-percent in value since the last assessment in 2009.

"My house looks worse than it did five years ago, and I know it's not $20,000 more," he adds.

If county appraisers can not find a data entry error right away, you must make a 15 minute appointment with the Board of Equalization to present your case. Last week, the assessor's office blamed many of the errors on human error. It said people made mistakes typing numbers into the computers.

"We're seeing about twice the number of appeals that we did three years ago. On the flipside of that is we had about 90,000 properties that went down in value," says Joe Thompson with the Pulaski County Assessor's Offive.

This year, 95,000 notices went out to people who face higher assessments. In 2009, 50,000 notices went out. The assessor's office says you only got a notice if your assessment went up.

Many people, like Kelly, do not believe their property values went up in this sluggish economy, and they do not want to pay higher taxes.

"I understand everyone in my neighborhood experienced the same thing, and it makes me wonder about the property tax laws," says Kelly.

FOX16 talked with people across Central Arkansas who received assessments they believe are incorrect and higher than they should be.

One man, who had his meeting with the board of equalization Monday, told FOX16 that the board did not side with him. His assessment went up $90,000, nearly doubling. He is very upset and was told the next step is to pay a ten-dollar fee to meet with the county judge.
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