No one wants to pay high property taxes. Then again, no one wants to live somewhere with low property values. You want to purchase your home at a low price, watch the area improve, make improvements to your home, and then sell it at a higher value than you bought it.
Unfortunately, though, property taxes in Georgia (and everywhere in the United States) are based upon property value. If you have a large, beautiful home in a safe and welcoming neighborhood, with a park, a good school, and walkable shopping and dining near you, you’re going to see higher property taxes.
Smart homeowners know a few tricks for getting lower property taxes in Georgia, though. Read on to learn some of their techniques for spending less on property taxes in Georgia.
Live in One of These Counties
The six counties in Georgia with the lowest property taxes are Fayette, Forsyth, Cherokee, Cobb, Gwinnett, and Paulding. Now, there are actually places with lower property taxes in Georgia, but this list is based on property values versus property taxes. If you move to one of these counties, you’ll be more likely to have a lower millage rate, which means that your fair market value on your home can be higher without significantly increasing your taxes.
Get the Property Appraised Yourself
Every year, the tax assessor’s office in your county will send an appraiser out to assess the taxable value of your property. If you want to ensure that your property taxes stay low, you’ll need to send in a property tax appeal after the new values come out in the Spring. When you do this, you’ll have the opportunity to fill in the value at which you think your home should be assessed. You can, of course, fill this in as anything you’d like, but the county will not accept something that’s significantly lower than the values of comparable properties in your area.
You could hire a professional, private appraiser to appraise your property and use the appraisal in your appeal. However, keep in mind that the appraisers value opinion has to be unbiased. In other words, they cannot create a "low" appraisal just to help you with your appeal. As a result, the appraisal may not be worth the money you spend on it.
While we’re talking about the assessment of your property, let’s talk about why you should always send in a property tax appeal form. When you do this, you’re proactively taking part in assessing your property’s value, and you’re starting a paper trail for future appeals, if you need to make them. You’re telling your tax assessor’s office that you’re serious about your property taxes in Georgia.
Talk With a Professional
If you feel like your property taxes in Georgia are too high, don’t hesitate to call a professional tax consultant. They’re educated and trained to deal with cases like yours every day. They can recognize when a property has been assessed at the wrong value and how to proceed to get your property taxes lowered to a reasonable amount for your actual property value.