If your tax bill seemed to go up by a substantial chunk this year, you might be thinking about disputing the tax bill. If this is you, you can rest assured knowing that you are not alone. It seems that the Dekalb County property tax, as well as taxes around the nation, are on the rise. This increase in the bills has homeowners everywhere attempting to challenge this exorbitant fees being set down by the local assessors. There is no reason why you shouldn’t also join the fight.
How the Tax is Decided
Before you can decide if your tax bill is unjust, you need to understand exactly how the rate is calculated. Basically, the amount of your Dekalb County property tax is determined by the assessor’s office. He or she will multiply the Dekalb County tax rate by the assessed value of our land, your home, and any of the other structures on your property. Keep in mind that adding improvements to your home, like adding on a cool new laundry room, can change the value of your property. Sometimes this change is quite dramatic. This new Dekalb County property tax rate then becomes the taxes that you pay for the year or in your mortgage payment each month.
There are a few ways that the value of your house will be determined in the eyes of the Dekalb County property tax assessor. He or she may stop by your property and do an inspection during the period of time the county is designating for reassessment. Other times, the tax assessor may forego the inspection and simply look at the real estate records noting how much you paid for your home. There are also times, like if you have been living in your house for a number of years, the tax assessor may base the assessment off of the median price or the real estate that is being sold in your neighborhood or on your street.
Disputing Your Dekalb County Property Tax
Homeowners that are disputing their tax rate do so for many reasons, and whatever your reason for wanting to dispute may be, it is likely a very valid reason. Perhaps you don’t think that the assessed value matches up with the true market value of your home. Maybe you live in a three-bedroom ranch, and you happen to know that a similar three-bedroom ranch two streets over has a significantly cheaper Dekalb County property tax rate. Perhaps the assessor didn’t take into consideration the fact that your home is entitled to a few exemptions for reasons such as it is a historical property or you have installed solar panels.
The important factor is that you have decided the DeKalb County property tax has been leveled in an unjust fashion, and you would like to dispute the amount. However, you may not be sure exactly how you should proceed. While it is possible to navigate the entire process on your own, it is generally much easier and less complicated for you if you seek the help of the experts.
The Appeal Process
As soon as you decide to contest the amount of your Dekalb County property tax, you will need to start the review process right away. There are timing issues at stake. In fact, you only have 45 days from the date that is printed on your tax assessment notice to file your appeal. The easiest way to get the process started is probably using the online appeal form. However, if you are using the help of a lawyer, you will want to set up your consultation immediately to get the ball rolling. It is definitely not something you want to leave until the last minute. It is also a good idea to remember that everyone else has that same 45-day deadline which can mean that consultation time will be booked up and that the online platform will be unable to handle the increase in users and may fail.
In order to get your Dekalb County property tax adjusted, you have a few avenues of appeal. The most common is the Board of Equalization. When you appeal your tax amount, the Board of Assessors will review your case, and they will notify you of their decisions. If you are not satisfied with the findings of the Board of Assessors, you can appeal to the Board of Equalization. The BOE is comprised of a three-member panel, and you will be given a hearing with this board. You will present your case, and the county assessor with present theirs. The Board of Equalization will deliberate and get back to you with a decision within 30 days.
If you are still unhappy with the outcome, you are free to take your appeal to the Superior Court. However, this move will need to take place within 30 days of receiving the BOE decisions, and it will require filing fees.
When filing your appeal, you will want to bring as much evidence as possible. The evidence can be in the form of witnesses, written documents, or anything else you deem necessary. Things like the paperwork from your recent home purchase can usually be very helpful during the appeal process.
You Don’t Have to Do It Alone
Deciding to contest your Dekalb County property tax is a big decision, but it isn’t one you have to make alone. If you have any questions about the process, the evidence needed, or the worthiness of your appeal, feel free to consult the experts in property tax law at Fair Assessments, LLC. We are here to help you every step of the way. Email us, use our contact page, or give us a call to schedule your consultation. We will review your case and help you decide on the best way to proceed.
We understand the frustration you feel when you are being unfairly taxed, and we want to help mitigate your tax burden. We are here to help!