The first round of Dekalb County Tax assessment hearing dates for the Board of Equalization has been sent out to property owners who are appealing the assessed values set on their properties. If you have received your hearing date, or have made your appeal and are awaiting your hearing date then it is time to ensure that you are prepared for the process and have made a strong case against the value that has been placed on your property.
Know the Process
Before your Dekalb County tax assessment hearing, it is a good to familiarize yourself with the process that is undertaken to determine the taxable value of your property. The process takes place under the Georgia Revenue Code whereby a property is appraised at 100% of its fair market value. The property is then assessed for tax at 40% of that value; if the appraised value of the property is too high then the tax assessment is too high as well.
You can file an appeal against your Dekalb County tax assessment once the Annual assessment notices have been mailed in the later part of May, and you have 45 days to appeal. It is important to note that while the appeal is being considered the property is no longer billed under that year’s appraised value. It is instead billed at a temporary value that is the greater of either the tax payers Property Tax Return Value or 85% of the original Notice value. Once the appeal is completed the temporary value will be dismissed, and the property owner will be issued either a refund or a new bill; the appropriate interest will also be added.
Before you can have a date for a Dekalb County tax assessment hearing, you need to complete some research, and either file an appeal form, or write a letter stating you believe the Dekalb County Tax assessment is wrong This is done in the 45 day period after assessment notices are issued. You will need to present these facts at the hearing so it is worthwhile checking the details and ensuring that they are correct. You can get assistance with understanding the assessment process, and gathering the appropriate data for making your case.
What to Expect at the Hearing
Taking your Dekalb County tax assessment to the Board of Equalization does not involve paying any fees. The board consists of three members, each of which are county property owners who have undergone at least 40-hour training in property tax law and appraisal. At the hearing, the board will review your letter of appeal and listen to your presentation. It is important to keep your presentation factual and to the point; the board will only consider elements that may have affected the valuation of your property. It is equally important to stay calm, and focused through the appeal hearing; you will gain nothing by losing your temper. The board will also listen to the case made by the county appraiser before making a decision; you are informed of the decision at the hearing if you request it, and always in writing via the mail.
Where do you go from here
If the Board of Equalization rules against you and in agreement with the Dekalb County tax assessment, it is not necessarily the end of the process. You have 30 days from receiving their decision to appeal to the Superior Court; be advised that if the board rules for you then the County appraiser can also appeal to the Superior Court within 30 days. After this phase, fees start to apply. Although you have this option at your disposal, and you still have a chance of overturning the ruling, you should think carefully before taking the process on to this level. A property tax service can help you make this decision.