“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin
No one likes taxes, but they’re an inescapable part of life. In order to have a functioning government, even on the local level, taxes must be assessed. Fulton County taxes come in several forms, including sales tax and property tax. The problem here is that inaccuracies in the mass property appraisal method used by Fulton County tax assessors lead to over assessment and errors, costing you more each year in property taxes. What’s the problem?
A Range of Inaccuracies
No system is perfect, including the Fulton County tax system. However, the property tax appraisal method, for all of its strengths, has a number of weaknesses. Those weaknesses leave homeowners and business owners open to overpaying on their taxes. There are several important things to understand here.
The first consideration is that the method used to assess your property’s value is designed to be fast, not necessarily accurate. Fulton County tax assessors do not enter your home – they appraise the property from outside, often without getting out of their vehicle. This can lead to a number of miscalculations in their assessment, which will raise your tax rate.
Another source of inaccuracy for Fulton County tax assessment is the possibility that your home hasn’t been accurately valued lately. Fulton is like most other counties in Georgia, and only reassesses home values once every few years. What if your home’s value plummets? Chances are good that it already did during the meltdown that began back in 2008. Even in 2014, real estate values have not completely recovered from that disaster. If you’re still being taxed on your home’s old value, rather than its current worth, you’re overpaying on your taxes.
Missed exemptions are another source of inaccuracy in Fulton County tax assessment. For instance, if you’re eligible for the school tax exemption because of your age, but it’s not applied to your taxes, you’re overpaying. If you’re eligible for the basic exemption because you actually are a legal resident of the city of Atlanta and not an out-of-state property owner, you’re overpaying by quite a lot. Each missed exemption can tack on thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to your home’s assessed value, increasing your tax burden significantly.
What Can You Do about Fulton County Tax Over Assessment?
There are several options open to you if you’re being over assessed on your property taxes. The first and most important option is to file a dispute with the tax assessor’s office. You’ll have to provide information about your property’s value, as well as any exemptions that you’re due but weren’t calculated into the value of your home. You’ll also need to have patience, as it can take some time to see results if you’re going it alone. It’s a better option to work with a Fulton County property tax consultant who can see you through the appeals process.