According to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, in the U.S. somewhere between 30% all the way up to 60% of homes are over-assessed when it comes to property taxes. While the Dekalb County tax assessor doesn’t mean to make mistakes, it is very likely that some of those over-assessed homes are in Dekalb County. Yet, even though there are so many homes that are overtaxed, less than 5% of homeowners even bother to dispute the taxes.
Things to Keep in Mind
A lot of people don’t want to be bothered with the process of changing their tax bill, and still, others don’t even know that they have any recourse. Yet, for many people, the reason that they don’t dispute the charges is because they want to be good citizens and good members of the community. They don’t want to be seen as someone who is trying to get out of paying their taxes. This is a noble attitude to have, but disputing an unfair tax assessment isn’t an attempt to skirt your civic duties.
Perhaps, you would feel better about the process if you thought about it differently. Instead of thinking about it as a dispute, consider that you are simply asking the Dekalb County tax assessor to review your current assessment. You could even call it a request if that feels better to you.
Asking the tax assessors office to review the amount is perfectly legitimate, and it won’t cause you to face any penalties. Filing for an appeal doesn’t require an attorney, but there are tax experts out there that can make the process go a lot smoother for you. There is often paperwork and evidence that needs to be supplied and having someone in your corner never hurts in the long run. This is especially true if it saves you money in the long run. Overall, disputing the amount of your property taxes is often the most prudent thing you can do because it can quite literally save you thousands of dollars.
Reasons Why You Would Need to File a Dispute with the Dekalb County Tax Assessor
There are several reasons why you may find that you are being taxed unfairly. Here are a few of the most common reasons that homeowners cite for filing an appeal with the Dekalb County tax assessor’s office:
- Exemptions Haven’t Been Filed Correctly: There are plenty of exemptions that people all over the country can file that will lower their property tax rate. It is a good idea to look at the full list of available exemptions to see which ones you qualify for, and then you can have a discussion with the Dekalb County tax assessor’s office to make sure that these exemptions are being accurately applied to your tax assessment.
- Your Home has Been Valued Over the Market Value: It sometimes happens that the Dekalb County tax assessor’s office will consider your home more valuable than it actually is. The assessors don’t look at each individual home in the county every time they reassess, and this can mean that your home is placed in a category that is much too luxurious. Perhaps your home hasn’t been maintained as well as you would like or you have had some serious issues. All of these types of problems can significantly lower the value of your home in regards to the real estate market, and the assessed value may be inaccurate. You can appeal to the Dekalb County tax assessor’s office with information that proves your home is not as valuable as they claim.
- The Dekalb County Tax Assessor Got Details Wrong: The men and women that work in the assessor’s office are only human, and mistakes can happen at any time. If you look closely at your notices, you may find that the assessor’s office has you down for a three bedroom home when you, in fact, only have a two bedroom home. Sometimes numbers get transcribed incorrectly, and it could state that your home is 5200 square feet when it is actually 2500 square feet. It will behoove you to look at all of this information quite carefully to ensure that all of the details are 100% correct.
Disputing Your Property Taxes in Dekalb County
For homeowners in Dekalb County, the annual assessment notices regarding your property taxes are mailed out in the summer months. Once the information is received, you will have only 45 days to file an appeal with the Dekalb County tax assessor’s office. Once that window closes, you will be out of luck until next year.
There are two main ways that you can file your appeal. The first, and likely most convenient, is to use the virtual system and file online. One thing to keep in mind is that the Dekalb County tax assessor’s website may get bogged down during that 45 day period. This means you may be forced to use method number two, which is the manual method. You can print off the required form and then either mail it to back or hand deliver it.
Either method is fine, and once you have filed, you will be able to check your status online. All you will need to check the status is your street address or your Parcel ID Number. Processing appeals can take months. So it is important that you start the appeal as soon as possible.
Get the Help You Need
Understanding all the ins and outs of property tax assessments can be tricky. This is especially true if you have never really paid much attention to the process in the past. However, you don’t have to work on your appeal all by yourself. There are property tax experts at Fair Assessments, LLC that will be happy to help you navigate the process with the Dekalb County tax assessor. We can make sure that your property is not over assessed, and that you are not paying too much on your yearly property taxes. Email us today to set up a free consultation.