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What Is a Board of Equalization Hearing like?

 
In most Metro Atlanta counties the boards are composed of three County taxpayers. At your scheduled time you will be brought into the hearing room, it should be just you, the County appraiser, and the three board members. Generally there will not be others in the hearing although in Georgia this is considered a public hearing.

The chair of the board will go over the policy and procedure regarding the hearing. Then they typically will ask the appellant if they prefer to go first or if they would like to defer to the County. Either way both the appellant and the County appraiser have an opportunity to present their case. When each has finished presenting their cases there is an opportunity for rebuttal. I prefer to let the County go first so I can frame my arguments around what they say.

After the appellant and the County appraiser have said all that they want to say the board then deliberates. They will do this right in front of you and you are not allowed to speak while they are deliberating. Usually there is one dominant member of the board, often the chair, that will voice their opinion first and then the other two board members will just follow along.

They will inform you either at the beginning or the end that their decision will be mailed to you within 10 days. Because they deliberated and made a decision in front of you you don't have to wait for the hard copy decision before you decide whether to further the appeal to Superior Court. You have 30 days to appeal to Superior Court from the date of the BOE decision letter.

 

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Comments

Thanks for the info. Is the appellant allowed to present exhibits (photos, printouts of property tax info, etc.) to the BOE during the hearing? If it's allowed, is it encouraged or well received?
Posted @ Wednesday, May 09, 2012 1:05 AM by EM
Yes, you need everything that supports your reduction. Pictures, comparable sales, equity comparables, etc. Just going in and saying "this should be 20% less than the county has on it" will not get you a penny off.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 09, 2012 1:54 PM by Daniel Jones
Daniel, thanks for the reply. What is the recommended manner of presentation--PowerPoint, handouts, or large posters accompanied by a verbal presentation, or simply a verbal presentation?
Posted @ Wednesday, May 09, 2012 2:24 PM by EM
I use handouts to accompany my verbal presentation. If you say there are sales or assessments that support a lower value you should have the information available for their review.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 09, 2012 3:18 PM by Daniel Jones
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