A Yazoo County businessman said he feels the county appraiser is “targeting” him when it comes to his property value.
After an eight percent increase on his property appraisal within a year, Mike Fulgham said he feels Bill Odom, the county appraiser, is not giving an accurate value upon his rental property at 1135 Grand Ave.
Both men appeared before the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors during its regular meeting last Friday. Fulgham’s property, a former dilapidated building converted into apartment homes, was assessed too high by Odom, Fulgham said.
The property, located across the street from Goose Egg Park, was assessed at $163,890 for the 2020 tax year. Fulgham said the property increased eight percent from 2019. He also compared his rental property to a similar rental property at 410 Canal St., which was assessed at about $82,000.
“I dare say there is no way possible that the building on Grand Avenue is nowhere near twice as much building as the one on Canal Street,” Fulgham said. “It is quite obvious that (Odom) doesn’t know about what is going on in this town with property values. He said he has only been here doing it for one year. I bought my first rent house 47 years ago. I do know a little about what value is in this town.”
Fulgham purchased the Grand Avenue property after the city of Yazoo City had placed the building to be demolished. He arranged with the city council to purchase the property, provided the city would not demolish the building.
The city council removed the building off the demolition list after Fulgham purchased the property in 2015.
“It went from $28,000 in value to $151,000,” Fulgham said. “The value increased by eight times. And the only thing he (Odom) knows I did was paint the house and put heating and cooling in it. Even that is wrong. There is no way a three-ton unit is $7,000 each. That is the evaluation (Odom) has on the heating and cooling. That is over $27,000. It may be in Ocean Springs, where (Odom) is from, but it is not here in Yazoo City.”
Odom said the value of the property increased based on the remodeling.
“This was done using the state approach to value,” Odom said. “This is the value that it came out. This is based on multiple dividers that are local in Yazoo County. This is based on property value from Yazoo County. In our conversation, I told (Fulgham) I would be glad to go in the house…”
“That’s illegal,” Fulgham replied.
“I am not trying to punish anybody,” Odom continues.
Fulgham questioned why his property was valued more than a similar property on Canal Street.
“And to top it off, you raised it eight more percent this year,” Fulgham said, to Odom. “You didn’t raise everything across the board in Yazoo County, did you?”
“Yes,” Odom replied. “I don’t know if everybody got an eight percent increase specifically.”
“Why are you targeting me,” Fulgham asked.
“I am not targeting anybody,” Odom said.
“You must be,” Fulgham added. “There is nothing in Yazoo County that has increased eight percent, by no percent. It is going down. Property values are going down.”
Odom said he performed a ratio study that was approved by the state department of revenue, which was based on mass appraisal, not individual appraisal. He also invited Fulgham to his office to discuss the matter in more detail.
“I am not going to sit in his office for a $10,000 reduction,” Fulgham told the supervisors. “That is asinine. And (Odom) can’t tell me why my building is worth ten times more than a building ten blocks down that is $82,000.”
Considering Fulgham is the only objector to the 2020 property value roll, the county board asked Odom to revisit the matter. Fulgham added that he would be satisfied with his property being appraised at $90,000.
“It went from a crack house to a rental house,” Fulgham said. “I already had a unit stolen last year, and this tax thing is coming up. (Odom) doesn’t calculate any of the risk factors involved in this. I am the one taking all the risks, and that is not fair. The property on Canal didn’t go up. Why did (Odom) go up eight percent on mine? Because I cut the grass?”