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Letters to the Editor 11-15-2002

Tax appraisal misunderstood

Dear Editor:

As I read an article of another newspaper regarding the controversy opponents around the state have tried to stir up about Gov. Siegelman's home sale, two phrases of significance jumped out of the page at me today - all of the to-do about his selling the property located in the "historic Cloverdale" area, number one, and his getting a sales price double the amount of the tax appraisal," number two.

Excuse me! Even here in little Andalusia, the heart of South Alabama, I know the price of homes in the Cloverdale historic district is above average because of the location! Additionally, I challenge any of those individuals who are working tirelessly to "turn up the heat" on the Siegelman camp to e-mail me at my real estate office a copy of their personal county "tax appraisal" accompanied by their "market value appraisal." Everyone in Alabama knows that "tax appraisals" from the county courthouses which are primarily "drive-by" appraisals are, a majority of the time, much less than a certified appraiser's opinion or a broker's market analysis based on sales comps and current listed properties.

The ordinary person doesn't know the difference, so this play on words can be easily misunderstood. All of the sellers our agency deals with always want to get as much as they can when they sell. If someone's willing to pay it, then so what! Shame on that paper for running a photo of the rear of the Norman Bridge Roadhouse every time this subject is written about. I have seen the house myself and it is a very attractive home with a substantial market value. Lastly, who, pray tell, wouldn't pay a little more than usual for a house the governor of Alabama's family once lived in?

Sue Bass Wilson

Andalusia