Local News

June 2, 2014

Chief appraiser to retire after 45-plus years

When Trammell Suddeth started at the Whitfield County tax assessor’s office in 1969, the county’s total tax digest came to just $95.3 million. Last year, the county’s tax digest was valued at $3.3 billion.

“The growth of the carpet industry and the growth of the population have really been tremendous, and that has had an obvious impact on the tax digest,” said Suddeth.

After more than 45 years in the tax assessor’s office, including more than 30 years as chief appraiser, Suddeth says it’s time for someone else to try to keep up with that growth. He has announced he will step down effective Sept. 1.

“There comes a time in everyone’s life when it is time to retire, and I think after 45-and-a-half years I have reached that time,” said Suddeth, 71.

Suddeth said the tax assessor’s office remains one of the least understood county offices.

“This office is responsible for all real and personal property,” he said. “This office does not set the taxes. The commissioners, the City Council, the school board set their own millage rates. This office establishes the value of all real and personal property — land, buildings, machinery and equipment, boats, aircraft.”

Suddeth said the variety of property the office must appraise has increased as well.

“It has grown more complex, and all of our appraisers must be certified by the state Department of Revenue. We have to maintain that certification by attending 40 hours of classes and passing them every three years. But we have year-round training for all staff,” he said.

As the job has grown, so has the office.

“When I started we had a three-person Board of Assessors and probably six to eight on staff. Now, we have a five-person board and 22 on staff,” said Suddeth, who served on the Board of Assessors from 1982 to 2006.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Babb said Suddeth will leave behind a large legacy.

“You’ve heard of institutional knowledge? Well, we will be losing someone with a lot of it,” Babb said. “But there comes a time for all of us to retire, and we wish him well.”

“We need to remember that he is actually filling two jobs. He is the chief appraiser and the director of the office,” Babb said. “Normally, the office director is a department head appointed by the commissioners, and the chief appraiser is appointed by the Board of Assessors, so we may have to conduct two searches.”

While Suddeth may be stepping down, he says he plans to remain active.

“I have three children, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, so I plan to spend a lot of time with my family,” he said. “I’m active in my church, where I direct music, and I plan to continue that.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Four arrested on meth, marijuana charges

    A traffic stop of a suspicious vehicle led to the arrest of four people on meth charges and the seizure of more than four pounds of meth and several firearms on Wednesday, officials said.

    August 1, 2014

  • Dalton State turtle 4.jpg In the mood for love: Encouraging breeding, saving species

    For one Dalton State College couple, a cool misty shower is more effective than Barry White and candles at turning thoughts to love. And keeping this couple feeling amorous could mean survival of the species.

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Beaulieu expects 2,000 employees to be affected by week-long shutdown

    About 2,000 employees of Beaulieu of America in Georgia and Alabama will be affected by the company’s plans to conduct an inventory of its buildings and facilities next week.

    August 1, 2014

  • Moral monday 3 mlh.jpg Four ‘jailed for justice’ tell their stories

    Arturo Martinez was just 8 when his family came to the United States from Mexico, and though he is one of more than 500,000 young undocumented immigrants granted deferred removal by President Barack Obama, Martinez said his dream of pursuing higher education is out of reach because of Georgia policies.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tanner Blackton: Diners, servers must show understanding

    Try to imagine this: You’ve been on your feet for hours, hoisting heavy plates, buzzing from table to table, taking orders, running food, refilling drinks. All the while, you have a smile plastered on your face and a go-to attitude, even when people blame you for things that are out of your control, berate you for accidentally mixing up an order, or loudly complain about being seated underneath an air conditioning vent.

    August 1, 2014

  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014