Are you eyeing your property tax assessment and wondering if something is not quite right? If that’s the case, you might be a step ahead of most other people when they receive mail from the Cobb County tax assessor. The reality is that many people just grab the mail, pay the bill, and move on without even really looking at it. That can be a mistake because there’s always a possibility that a mistake was made.
Getting a Better Look at the Cobb County Tax Assessor Statement
The truth is that it’s not uncommon for your property tax bill to increase. Laws change on a regular basis and any change to state, local, or federal laws can cause your taxes to increase. It’s also possible that the value of the neighborhood you are in can increase which will lead to higher taxes. When the Cobb County tax assessor reassesses the value of your land, that can also lead to an increase.
However, an increase isn’t always legitimate. Mistakes happen with property taxes just as often as they do in any other area of life. That’s why looking deeper into the situation is to your advantage. You might find out that you owe hundreds of dollars less than you expected. If you were one of those people who just look the letter at face value and sent in the required amount, you could end up overpaying and nobody wants to do that.
The First Step is to Look at Your Bill
Before you can do anything about the possibility that you may be paying too much in taxes, you need to really look deep at the bill. You also need to have an awareness of how property taxes are calculated by the Cobb County tax assessor. There are a few different things that play into this, which we’ll look at below.
- Appraised Value of Property – This is what the assessor decides your property is worth when compared with other properties in the same neighborhood. This is also called the property’s assessment. In some cases, this is going to be based on the current market value of your property, while in other cases it might be a neighborhood-wide reassessment that was done in the last two or three years.
- Tax Rate – Your tax rate is decided by the needs of the local government (city, county, schools, etc.) to ensure the cost of road maintenance, libraries, police stations, and more are covered. As an example, your might have a tax rate of $2.50 for each $100 of assessed value, or 0.025. This can vary widely but the math works the same regardless. That amount is paid for every $100 that your property is determined to be worth.
- Assessment Ratio – Every state and county is different but as an example, taxes on properties like homes and farms might be based on 22% of the appraised value.
- Assessed Value – The appraised value is multiplied by the assessment ratio to create the assessed value. So, let’s say you have a home worth $200,000 with the figures we’ve already mentioned. The assessed value hear would be $200,000 time 0.22. However, in some areas, a full valuation is used where the entire amount of the property assessment is used. That means your $200,000 house would be assessed at that exact amount.
The Second Step is to Get the Ball Rolling
You have a limited amount of time to appeal the assessment made by the Cobb County tax assessor. That means you need to get started with a potential appeal immediately. This will involve filling out paperwork from the county and doing an evaluation of comparable homes in the same neighborhood as your own property.
In most areas of Georgia, you have 120 days to file an appeal. That might seem like a long time but it’s not. It can take quite a lot of time and effort to get everything together, so you have evidence that you are being charged too much by the Cobb County tax assessor.
Even after you get in your appeal, the county may propose a different value, accept your appeal, or reject the appeal. It’s not uncommon for it to be rejected, in which case you will need to have a hearing before the board of adjustment if you want to go forward. In areas without a board, the county seat will have an assessor’s office where the value of properties is decided.
Prepare to Do Your Homework
Even if you are sure that your property value was raised and should not have been, that’s not enough to convince the Cobb County tax assessor. You are going to need facts to back up the appeal. This typically involves researching other homes in your area and finding out how they have been assessed. However, it’s also not that simple. The homes have to be similar to yours in size, number of bedrooms, and amenities for the work to count.
It’s not unlikely that you find that your Cobb County tax assessor has made a mistake somewhere. This can be an easy way to lower your tax bill for the year. You need to save this information and have it ready as evidence in your case. Thankfully, assessments are public records so finding the information you need shouldn’t be overly difficult.
Consider Getting Expert Assistance
While it’s entirely possible to handle an appeal with the Cobb County tax assessor on your own, having expert help on your side can make things less confusing and more streamlined. When choosing the right help, think about what kind of experience the company offers and how long they have been in the business.
If you’re ready to appeal the findings of the Cobb County tax assessor, you want to start quickly. The professionals at Fair Assessments, LLC are here to help. We offer tons of experience and can give you assistance as you work toward your appeal and owing less on your property taxes.