You still have approximately three weeks to appeal your DeKalb County tax assessment. The dealine to appeal is July 13 for most county tax payers. After DeKalb County's recognition that some of the tax assessments that were sent out were erroneous they said they would send out second notices on up to 4,000 homes. These corrective notices should have another 45 day appeal period from the date of notice. If you get a second notice and you do not have 45 days to appeal I would like to hear about it.
Some home owners are complaining that their DeKalb County tax assessment is now too low. I know that the assessment on my house is below market value but I'm not complaining. I figure the County will increase my value in 2013 or 2014 or whenever they think they have enough market data to increase it. It is the people that are trying to sell their real estate that are the loudest about low DeKalb County tax assessments. Although home buyers should put little faith in the tax assessment they often do. Because I am not ready to sell I will keep my mouth shut and enjoy the smaller tax bill.
The DeKalb County School Board voted to raise their portion of the millage (tax) rate last week. The one mill increase will raise approximately $14.8 million, but the Board still faces a large $77.5 million budget cut. For those of you with DeKalb County tax assessments that are little changed or even increases from 2011, increased tax rates are are a kick in the wallet. The County will get their money one way or another, either through increases in property tax assessments, or increases in the tax rate. All we can do is hold them accountable for the tax dollars they spend and keep appealing the tax assessments.
There is still time to send in a property tax assessment appeal to the Atlanta GA Tax Assessor. The 2012 appeal deadline is June 28 and there is no provision in the Georgia tax law for relief if you fail to appeal within the designated appeal period. You get 45 days from the date of notice, no ifs ands or buts.
There has been a controversy swirling around Fulton County Assessor Donald Johnson. He is a licensed real estate appraiser and has been accused of inflating appraised values in a part of south Atlanta that experienced rampant mortgage fraud during the housing bubble. This has nothing to do with his work as an assessor and relates only to his full time job, as an appraiser. It is basically just a sideshow and will have no bearing on 2012 property tax appeals.
The Atlanta GA Tax Assessor is still struggling under the weight of the outstanding 2011 tax appeals. There may be a long wait until we can work with the assessment staff on our 2012 appeals. When you get your 2012 tax bill, pay it regardless of whether your appeal has been heard or not. Appealing your tax assessment does not relieve you of your property tax obligation. You may be entitled to a refund when your 2012 tax appeal is resolved.
There is still time to appeal your valuation notice from the Fulton Tax Assessors. The deadline to appeal is June 28. The Fulton tax assessors usually receive more property tax appeals than any other county in the Atlanta metropolitan area. They are currently still working on their 2011 appeals as well as court cases from prior years. There is hope that they will get to their 2012 assessment appeals sometime soon so that this property tax appeal season doesn't drag on well into 2013.
As a former manager for the Fulton Tax Assessors, I know about the volume of appeals they get. Every appeal form or letter is put into a separate file for every real estate parcel appealed. Each appeal is logged into the computer system. This process, by itself, is very time-consuming. With a large number of appeals being filed in the last week, you can bet that many of the appeal folders that are given to the appropriate appraiser won't even be completed until the end of July. If you try to talk to the appropriate appraiser about your property tax appeal they may tell you that they don't have the appropriate file to work with you.
Later this summer will be a good time to try and contact the appraiser that works for the Fulton tax assessors to discuss your tax assessment appeal and try to work out a value. If you can't agree on a value with the Fulton appraiser then in all likelihood, you will be waiting for a Board of Equalization hearing sometime later this year. Perhaps your 2012 property tax appeal will be settled in 2012, perhaps not.
If you would like to put your 2012 Fulton tax assessors appeal in good hands, contact us.