If you live in Cobb or Gwinnett counties, and you have concerns about the cost of your property taxes, you'll want to reach out to the assessment appeals board. This board is designed to hear cases of homeowners who believe their properties are being taxed at unfair rates or valuations.
For example, a house that's worth $100,000 shouldn't be taxed as if it was worth $1 million, or even $200,000. It puts a burden on the homeowner and is bringing in extra money for the county in a way that fails to help the citizens of that county. Here's what to consider.
What is the Assessment Appeals Board?
Just like Fulton County and DeKalb County, Cobb County and Gwinnett County have an assessment appeals board. People go to the board when they are unhappy with their property tax assessment, and they appeal the amount of tax they're being charged.
If their valuation has changed greatly in a short period of time, for instance, they may be concerned that their property was incorrectly assessed. Sometimes, assessors do make mistakes. A property could be miscategorized, an address could be wrong, or there could be other issues that change the value unfairly.
The Appeals Board is Independent
An assessment appeals board is independent, meaning you're not just going to the people who assessed the property and asking them to assess the assessment for accuracy. That would likely lead nowhere. Instead, having an independent board means the members of that board will look at the assessment objectively, without automatically being on either side of the issue.
An independent examination of the facts is the best way for a homeowner to get a fair adjustment of their property tax, or an accurate determination of whether the original assessment is the right one. Homeowners can reach out to the board through a designated procedure, and without fear that they'll be targeted for property tax or other issues due to appealing their assessment.
How to Work With the Board
There is a 45-day period for appeals in most counties. If you're going to appeal your property taxes to the board, you have to start the process during that window. That's true of both residential and commercial properties. Fortunately, appeals are relatively easy to begin. They're electronic, in most cases, so you can go online and start the process. You can also mail in a form, if you don't want to appeal online.
The appeal can be tracked online, too, and you'll get a notice when a decision has been made. If you feel good about the amended value, you're done with the process. But if you feel it's still too high, and you want to pursue it further, you can appeal again. That moves the appeal to the next level, and may result in a lowering of the assessed value.