If you are dealing with an incorrect tax assessment, you’re probably under a fair amount of stress. Fortunately, you don’t need to panic. Just take a minute to look at the assessment or tax bill that you received to see what it actually says. If there isn’t enough information on the bill or assessment, you may have to dig deeper to find the errors and correct them accordingly.
What Tax Assessors Do
A Fulton County tax assessor is responsible for valuing residential and commercial properties in Fulton County for the sake of determining local and individual property tax rates. Unlike home value, your taxes are determined by a percentage that you pay, which is set forth by the assessor after they have completed their appraisal of the neighborhood.
What does a tax assessor actually do, though? These people utilize statistics, data, and unique valuation methods to gather information to provide an accurate home value, which translates to the appropriate tax value. They may use any number of methods or systems to complete their assessment. The biggest thing to remember is that they are tasked with mass appraisal, which means if the data is incorrect or missing, they aren’t going to go looking for it.
The assessor will determine the appropriate tax percentage for each property based on a study of comps, sales versus improvement values, and other elements. Their entire job is to review property records and assign properties to the appropriate tax bracket for the sake of property taxes.
How to Fix Errors
The appeal process is available to all Georgia residents who are looking to fix their Fulton County property tax. Once you have completed the application and notified the county that you would be appealing your tax assessment, you simply need to start collecting evidence and making changes where necessary. This can include things like:
- Reviewing your property record and tax card to ensure that the data is correct. If any information is missing or incorrect, you can request a reevaluation or a correction of the details.
- Double-checking the land value and living area of your home that are provided for the sake of the tax assessment. Some of the most common errors happen in these two areas. You wouldn’t believe the number of property records that have the incorrect square footage, simply because it’s something that a lot of people don’t even notice.
- Hiring an independent appraiser to come in and assess the state of your home. They can perform measurements only if you are only facing land or living space discrepancies, or they can do a full home inspection. Most services charge less than $500 for this and can give you hard facts that you can use as evidence in your appeal about your tax assessment.
- Hiring someone to do the legwork for you. There are plenty of people who can manage all of these steps on their own, but who really wants to? Companies exist specifically to offer these services, so you might as well take advantage of them while you can.
Why Mistakes Happen
Human error is the most common cause of a tax assessment mistake or other billing issue. From a full billing for the wrong service to typing in the wrong information in the records, there are a number of things that can go wrong. Mistakes happen all the time, including in the data that is provided for assessors to do their job.
An assessor has a huge responsibility. They can only use the tools they are given, so they trust that the tools are right for the job. If there is incorrect or missing information, to begin with, the assessment work that they do will be inaccurate, as well. Don’t blame them immediately because accidents happen and they are limited to the resources that they have. Just know that they aren’t perfect.
Another reason that tax assessments could be incorrect is that your property could have been put into the wrong appraisal neighborhood. That is, your home has to be compared to comps, or similar homes in the area. You can’t just compare your neighbors’ homes to yours because they might not be the same size or have the same value. Ideally, your property will be grouped in with similar properties so that an accurate tax assessment can be provided to everyone.
Other Tips and Insight about Fulton County Property Tax
Home sales, additions or renovations, and other changes to the overall property or the structure of it can affect the property tax rate that you fall into. Therefore, it is important to report any and all changes right away and to ensure that your tax assessment reflects the correct information. An assessor spends a lot of time inferring things during the appraisal and assessment process. If you choose to appeal, you will be able to provide them with more concrete evidence so that you can prove that your bill is wrong. In most cases, this will result in a lower bill.
Regardless, residents of Georgia need to address any issues with their property listing as soon as possible. In some cases, an appeal may actually cause your bill to increase. How long will that take? There is no exact time frame, but it usually happens within the first month or two.
Can’t I Just Look the Other Way?
Although there are some projects in your home that you can put off, determining whether you are paying the right property tax is among the biggest of them. Don’t just glance at your bill, or worse, throw it away without looking at it. It might seem like an easy out to put the project off for another day, but this is the day that the school has requested our presence.
Get Help Now
At Fair Assessments, LLC, we understand what it takes to fight back against incorrect property tax assessments. Our experienced team can assist you with the entire appraisal process and ensure that your home gets the value that it deserves. Call us today to learn more.