Dekalb County Property Tax Appeal: Appeals Venue and Grounds for Appeal

Posted by Daniel Jones on Feb 19, 2020 8:53:00 AM

Under the law of the State of Georgia, property owners can choose from three venues in filing their DeKalb County property tax appeal papers, namely, Board of Equalization (BOE), Hearing Officer, and Binding Arbitration. In many cases, both the property owner and the BTA can agree to elevate the appeal directly to Superior Court depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. 

In each venue, you have to be well aware of the coverage and limitations, the costs and benefits, and the chances for a winning appeal. For example, appeals filed for the Hearing Officer venue are limited to non-homestead exemption property with value in excess of $1 million although there is no filing fee. 

You must also be prepared to work with several professionals in winning your appeal as it is not just the appraised and assessed values that must be dealt with during the DeKalb County property tax appeal process.  Aside from a certified appraiser, you will likely be working with an accountant (i.e., for income verification), a lawyer (i.e., for legal representation especially at the Superior Court hearing), and a tax advisor (i.e., for meeting deadlines, explaining the process, and gathering the documents). 

Dekalb County Property Tax Appeal

Will the professional fees paid to an appraiser, an accountant, and a lawyer, as well as a tax advisor be worth it?  Yes, it will be worth it especially when the assessed values can be reduced by as much as 50%, even higher, with the right team on board.  Bear in mind, too, that the reduced assessed value for the applicable tax year will have a significant impact on the future years’ assessed values and, thus, on the tax bills. 

Grounds for Appeal

In the formal letter of appeal, the property owner should ideally state the ground or reason for the appeal. While this is not a compulsory requirement, it will facilitate the DeKalb County property tax appeal process since the BOT can immediately be informed of your grievance against its appraisal process, assessed value, and other valid grounds. 

The choice of venue will also have an impact on the chosen grounds for appeal. At the BOE, your grounds for appeal can include taxability, value, uniformity, and denial of exemptions. With the Hearing Officer, your ground for appeal should be for value or uniformity for non-homesteaded property worth over $1 million.

While you can submit an appeal for several grounds, tax experts suggest appealing on a maximum of two grounds for fast resolution of the appeal.  You must discuss your grounds for appeal with your tax advisor since each one has specific documentary requirements and arguments. 

  • Value – The property’s assessed value based on the Chief Appraiser’s fair market value determination and fair market value based on an independent appraisal have a substantial difference. The independent appraisal should ideally be conducted by a certified appraiser with the result being a certified appraisal report, which will also be used as evidence during the hearings with the BOE, Hearing Officer, and Arbitrators as well as the Superior Court. 
  • Uniformity - The property’s assessed value in comparison with the assessed values of comparable property has a substantial difference or varies beyond reasonable justification.


  • Taxability – The property was subjected to property tax even when it should have been tax-exempt under the laws of the State of Georgia.
  • Denial of exemption – The property should have been provided with law-mandated exemptions but the BTA failed to recognize the exemptions in the annual notice of assessment. Examples of exemptions include homestead exemption, veteran exemption, and senior citizen exemption.   

The DeKalb County property tax appeal process also makes it easier for property owners in another aspect. The BTA has the burden of proof during the appeal in the sense that it must justify and prove the reasonableness of the property’s assessed value.  You, as the taxpayer, have the responsibility of providing the crucial information including the necessary documents in proving your claim of unfair, inaccurate, or overinflated assessed value on your property. Need assistance with your DeKalb County property tax appeal? Contact Fair Assessments, LLC today!

Topics: DeKalb County property tax appeal

property tax appeals

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