The Board of Equalization is composed of county tax payers just like yourself. They are appointed by a grand jury, and must be considered qualified and competent to serve as a grand juror, must be the owner of real property, and must be a high school graduate. No employee of the county, a county school board, or the Board of Assessors, is considered competent to serve as a member of the Board of Equalization.
Each member of the Board of Equalization must satisfactorily complete 40 hours of instruction in appraisal and equalization processes and procedures. In Georgia, this training is done by the State Department of Revenue. In addition, each Board of Equalization member must complete eight hours of continuing education annually. The Board of Equalization is overseen and supervised by the clerk of the Superior Court. Each board member is appointed for a term of three calendar years.
The county Board of Equalization hears appeals from assessments and denials of homestead exemptions. If the board determines that uniformity is not present, the board may order the county Board of Tax Assessors to take such action as is necessary to obtain uniformity, except that, when the question of county wide uniformity is considered by the board, the board may recommend a partial or total countywide revaluation only upon a determination by a majority of all the members of the board that the clear and convincing weight of the evidence requires such action.
Generally speaking the Board of Equalization members are not pulled from their jobs and their families to serve. Most of the board members are retired or have flexible schedules. Most do not have any prior real estate experience. Many would rather not have to make a decision on your appeal. They would rather that you work out a value with the County appraiser prior to the hearing.
Depending on the county, the Board of Equalization works many appeals over many months. As a result they tend to see the county appraisers on a regular basis. They sometimes get friendly with the county appraisers. This is just a fact of life, people are people and they like to talk. So in a sense you're at a disadvantage when you walk into the hearing. You are a stranger among friends.
If you would like assistance with your Georgia property tax appeals
please contact Fair Assessments LLC, your Atlanta-based property tax consultants.