My last blog talked about how to appeal your tax assessment and its process. As discussed, you may opt to appeal to the County Board of Equalization, to a Hearing Officer or to an Arbitrator. To help you with your decision, I decided to discuss further how these 3 work and their differences.
BOE or Boards of Equalization Each board has 3 members and 5 alternates, appointed by the Grand Jury. A hearing is scheduled and you may decide to let an authorized agent present the case for you (Letter of Authorization must be provided before hearing). They will have to review your letter of appeal, and they will listen to your presentation as well as to the county appraiser. The BOE shall render its decision at the conclusion of the hearing and you will be notified of their decision in writing. If the you are dissatisfied with the BOE’s decision, an appeal to the Superior Court may be made. However, fees will be required if you appeal to Superior Court.
To better understand the BOE, you may also read our previous article: About the Board of Equalization Georgia
Arbitration (Binding) is limited to appeals of Real Property Value only. Within 10 days of filing your tax appeal to Binding Arbitration, the Board of Tax Assessors (BOA) must send an acknowledgment to you stating your responsibility to provide a certified appraisal (prepared by a qualified appraiser), and provide a court filing fee within 45 days. If the BOA accepts your certified appraisal, it shall become the final value but when the BOA rejects the certified appraisal, it must within 45 days certify the appeal to the Clerk of Superior Court. If the BOA neither accepts nor rejects the certified appraisal within 45 days, the certified appraisal shall become the final value.
Within 15 days of filing the appeal with the Clerk of Superior Court, the Chief Judge shall issue an order authorizing the arbitration. Within 30 days of the Arbitrator’s appointment by the Clerk of Superior Court, he/she shall schedule the time and location of the hearing.
The Arbitrator shall render a decision regarding the value of the property by choosing either the value presented by the Board of Tax Assessors, or the value presented by you at the conclusion of the hearing. The "loser" must pay the cost of the arbitrator. Provisions of binding arbitration may be waived at any time by written consent of both parties. The decision of the arbitrator is final and is not appealable to Superior Court.
A Hearing Officer is a state certified general real property or state certified residential real property appraiser and is approved as a hearing officer by the Real Estate Commission and the Real Estate Appraiser Board. He deals with the issue of value or uniformity of non-homestead real property, but only when the value is equal to or greater than $1,000,000.
The Board of Tax Assessors has up to 90 days to review the appeal and notify you of its decision. You have 30 days to notify the BTA if you are not satisfied with its decision. Upon receipt of such notification, the BTA has 30 days to send the appeal to the Clerk of Superior Court for scheduling a hearing. If the Clerk cannot find a Hearing Officer, the appeal shall be moved to the Board of Equalization.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall notify both parties of the decision verbally and shall send the decision in writing. Either party may appeal to Superior Court within 30 days of this decision.
Click here for a list of hearing officers published by the Georgia Real Estate Commission and Appraisers Board.
For advice and help with your tax appeals, please call us at (404) 644-1667.