Should I Contact the Tax Assessors to Discuss my Appeal?
You should always file your appeal before discussing your value with the assessors. You need to do this in order to preserve your rights. If you attempt to negotiate a reduction in value and the deadline to appeal slips by before you settle, or get written confirmation of the value, you may be out of luck. Always file a formal appeal so that if your negotiations with the assessor don't go well you have other options.
In Georgia there is something called a property tax return. The property tax return is used by the assessors to discover taxable value that they may not otherwise know about. You are legally obligated under Georgia law to report changes to your property description on the property tax return form. You are also supposed to supply the assessors with your estimate of your property value on the form. Some people think that this is equivalent to appealing your value. That is not the case. If the assessor does not give you your returned value and you do not file an appeal your rights will be lost for the year.
Once you have filed a formal appeal you can attempt to discuss your value with the assessment personnel. Whether you supplied supporting information with your appeal or not it is worthwhile to find out who is the appraiser handling your property, and determine whether or not they are willing to work something out. Depending on the County and the number of appeals that they have this may be difficult. In some of the Metro counties that get a lot of appeals the appraisers are less willing to work with you one-on-one. If you have supplied supporting information with your appeal you may have to wait until they make a decision on it and send something to you in the mail.
Due to the fact that most counties have a large number of appeals at this time the assessor offices should be willing to negotiate values in lieu of a long drawnout appeal process. However this won't always be the case. Some County appraisers don't want to recommend reductions and would rather have it be a Board of Equalization decision. If that's the case you will be discussing your appeal until you get a hearing date.
If you would like to put your Atlanta property tax appeals
on autopilot, contact the property tax consultants at Fair Assessments LLC