Before you go ahead and file for a Clayton property tax appeal, it is well-advised to check the property cards for your home and your neighbors’ homes first. These property cards can be easily and lawfully obtained, so there’s no need to worry.
Check your Home’s Property Card
To obtain a copy of your home’s property card, you can go to the Clayton County Tax Assessor’s Office. There’s no need to provide the county staff with a formal letter, just let them know about your intent. You should be provided with a photocopy or print-out of the tax record/property card.
Your property tax record may contain inaccurate or incomplete information, so it’s really important to check it thoroughly. Such error could be the reason for your unjustifiably high property taxes for the applicable year.
These are the things that you have to check for accuracy:
- Classification of your home. Is your home classified as a residential property? In most jurisdictions, commercial and residential properties have different tax rates due to residential exemptions so commercial is usually taxed higher.
- Land size and zoning. The changes in size and zoning classifications, if any, should be considered by the local assessors in determining the property’s fair market value.
- Living area and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. These attributes will affect the fair market valuation estimate and tax on the property.
- Age and property purchase price. Depreciation and historical cost will also have an impact on the property’s assessed value.
- Improvements, defects and restrictions.
- Are the deductions due to the property made? These can include homestead, senior citizen, and military deductions, which decrease the taxable value of the property.
If there are any incomplete or incorrect information on your home’s property card, you should inform the Clayton County Tax Assessor’s Office.
Check your Neighbor’s Property Cards
You may still be unsatisfied with your home’s assessed value for any reason. Your next step is to check the property cards for your neighbors’ homes. You’re neither snooping nor spying on them, especially as they may be doing the same.
Your goal here is to gather more information about whether your property has been fairly valued in comparison with other comparable properties. How did the local assessors value the residential property similar to your own? How much are residential properties like yours currently selling for?
If you find similar homes with a taxable value lower than your own, and sales of similar properties that are lower than your taxable value, then your property may have been over-assessed. You should take into consideration various elements of comparison, like living area, number of bathrooms, etc. to be certain that your house isn’t superior to the properties you are comparing it to.
In case you proceed with your plan to file for a Clayton property tax appeal, you should organize the abovementioned information into a presentation supporting a lower value. You are also well-advised to hire Fair Assessments, LLC, an independent property tax expert, for a winning appeal.