Every year, the Cobb County Tax Assessor sends out the Annual Notice of Assessment to all residential and commercial property owners. Many of these owners will file appeals against their assessments on one or all of three grounds, namely, value, taxability and equalization.
If you are also thinking about filing an appeal against your property assessment, you must know the dos and don’ts of the process. The fewer mistakes made, the lesser damage done to your appeal, and the more likely you can enjoy a lower property assessment. Here are the most common mistakes that you should avoid when filing your appeal at the Office of the Cobb County Tax Assessor.
Ignoring the Process
Keep in mind that you must defend your appeal in a vigorous manner. This involves attending the hearing dates, meeting the deadlines, and asking for postponements, if necessary, in a timely manner.
When you fail to deliver on your end, you will likely experience a rejection of your appeal. For example, when you fail to attend an assessment appeal hearing without filing for a timely request for postponement, your appeal can be withdrawn. You may also be forfeiting your right to appeal for the applicable taxable year.
The bottom line: If you want to be victorious in your appeal, you have to work with the Cobb County Tax Assessor in complying with the appeals process.
Appearing Without Representation
While you have the right to file your appeal, appear at the hearing, and represent yourself, you have to remember that it can be extremely risky for several reasons. You are not well-versed in the legal process involved in tax appeals, the terminologies of property taxes, and the documents required, among others.
During the hearing, you will also be cross-examined by the taxing authorities, which can quickly work against you. This is because anything you say can be used against your case, such as improvements made to your property, and you may make many statements that hurt your case.
The conclusion: Hire a tax consultant as your representative during the hearings. You will not only get competent representation but you will also have an experienced professional dealing with the important details, such as documents and deadlines, of your property assessment appeal.
Relying on Comparison of Assessments
While it may appear logical to compare your property’s assessment value with your neighbors’ property assessment values, it is not excellent primary evidence. You will have better chances when the “actual value” will be used as the primary evidence, a fact that an experienced tax consultant will also recommend.
Comparable sales data, instead of the surrounding property’s assessment, is better evidence for presentation. This is also true for the argument about lack of uniformity – it may be relevant but it is insufficient to stand on its own without other evidence to back it up.
Of course, the biggest mistake you can make during the appeals process is quitting too early. When you lose during the first avenue for appeal, you should proceed to the next avenue. You will not be blacklisted, so to speak, by the Cobb County Tax Assessor if you do.
Don’t jeopardize your chances of winning your Cobb county property tax appeal. Let Fair Assessments, LLC handle your case to avoid making the common mistakes mentioned above.