Are Fulton County Tax Assessors Creating Inaccuracies in Assessments?

Posted by Daniel Jones on Mar 28, 2014 8:59:00 AM

Regular property assessments are the backbone of the property tax system in Fulton County and the rest of Georgia’s counties. The current system requires that Fulton County tax assessors value each home in the county over the course of several years to assess the home’s condition and value based on a variety of different factors. From that assessment, you will pay property taxes. However, are those Fulton County tax assessors responsible for creating accurate assessments actually creating inaccuracies?

The Truth of the Situation

In a word, yes, Fulton County tax assessors are at least partially responsible for the many inaccuracies in the world of property taxes for the county. However, they’re not solely responsible for all inaccuracies here – there are other forces at play. Let’s take a closer look at the situation.

Fulton County uses a periodic reassessment process. That is, your home will be inspected and assessed once every few years. Because assessors only visit a home once every three or more years, there’s a significant chance for inaccuracies. Usually, these work in the favor of the homeowner – the assessor might not realize that you’ve improved your home, and may not ask about it. However, it can also work against you. The assessor might record inaccurate information about the condition, layout or size of the home, increasing your tax burden.

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The drive-by assessment method used in Fulton County encourages these issues, actually. Most Fulton County tax assessors will assess the home and surrounding property from the confines of their vehicle. They’re not allowed to enter your home, but many do not even walk around the home or take pictures (often for safety reasons). Without a completely accurate idea of the home’s size, condition and any improvements made (or not made), it’s difficult to arrive at an accurate picture of the property’s value.

Another reason, and one of the most common causes of inaccuracies, is the fact that periodic reassessments are often not capable of taking market fluctuations into account when determining property value. For instance, most of the Metro Atlanta area is still suffering depressed values from the 2008 economic meltdown. While there has been some improvement, we haven’t quite made it back to pre-2008 prices. However, you might be paying property taxes based on a property value that’s the same or very similar to what your property was worth at the peak of the real estate bubble. Obviously, you’re paying more than you should in that instance.

The Key to Tax Relief

If you believe that Fulton County tax assessors have over assessed your home’s value, the most important thing for you to do is to contact a property tax consultant to help you file an appeal. Appealing your tax assessment is your right as a Fulton County resident, and it can help you save thousands of dollars on your taxes over time. Make sure you hire a trusted consultant with a long history of successfully appealing property tax situations, though.

Topics: fulton county tax assessors, Fulton County Tax, Fulton County Board of Equalization

property tax appeals

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