While it might be frustrating, one of the costs of owning a home is paying your property taxes. Nobody enjoys paying taxes, but it is a part of life and when you get mail from the GA tax assessors, it’s crucial to stay on top of it. Those who have owned a home for years are likely used to this part of life, but new buyers may not be aware of the impact that property taxes can have on their annual income.
The Basics of Property Taxes
Your local government implements property taxes as a way to raise money for crucial services in the community. For example, when you see workers out there fixing potholes that have been a nuisance, the money that comes from property taxes is part of why the situation is handled. Much of the money that is taken in property taxes goes to things like your local school and libraries as well as the neighborhood police stations and fire departments.
Everyone who owns some sort of property, whether a home or a business, has to pay property taxes. That means that if you own a home, you can except to get a bill from the local GA tax assessors each year. Those who own farms and rental properties are also required to pay property taxes. The only exception is to those who rent a home or business. In that case, you don’t have to pay property taxes, your landlord does.
How Property Taxes Are Calculated
When you get mail from the GA tax assessors with the property tax you owe, it’s based on two things. The first is the local government’s tax rate and the second is the assessed value of your home. The assessed value of your property is multiplied by the tax rate to determine your property tax. If you aren’t sure what the assessed value of your home is, you can look at your most recent tax bill or search properties online or at the tax assessor’s office.
Paying Property Taxes After Owning Your Home
When you make the final mortgage payment, you probably feel super excited. You no longer have to worry about making those monthly payments. However, that doesn’t mean that the GA tax assessors are going to stop sending you a bill. You still have to pay property taxes as long as you own y our home. Rather than having those paid to your lender who handles it for you, you will be responsible for making the payments on your own.
Choosing not to pay your property taxes is a bad idea. If you pay late or don’t pay at all, it can escalate until the point where you lose your home. You do not want to allow that to happen. Planning in advance for the tax bill is an excellent idea if you are concerned about not having the money to pay when the bill comes due.
How to Determine if Property Taxes Are Too High
If you feel that the information you got from the GA tax assessors is wrong and your bill is too high, there are a few things you can do. The first option is simply to visit the tax assessor’s office to view the information about your property. You can see what is listed in terms of the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, square footage, and other details. If it turns out any of those things are incorrect, you may be paying too much for your property taxes.
Other things that can be helpful in your quest to get to the bottom of the problem include the original construction plans for your property, an independent appraisal of the property and home, and sales prices of comparable homes in your area that are similar to your own.
The truth is that assessing a home involves a lot of guesswork. The value is based on what your home is estimated to be able to sell for if you were to sell it right now. In addition, different counties look at different things. The GA tax assessors may count bathroom fixtures while another county assessor does not.
There are many different factors that make up the estimate. The number of bathrooms, number of bedrooms, and square footage of the home are part of that. The amenities found in your area, what houses in your area are selling for, and what upgrades have been made to your home are also considered. External features like a corner lot or a fantastic view also matter.
Making the Decision to Appeal the Tax Bill
For those who find they may be paying too much when receiving their bill from GA tax assessors have an option of appealing the bill. It is possible that your home has been over-assessed, and you are paying too much. Many homeowners are not aware that an appeal is an option, so they simply do not do it.
Those who are interested in appealing will need to do some work to prove your home does not have the worth that was assigned to it. Having information about neighborhood amenities that affect sales, what nearby houses have sold for, and any renovations you have done that have changed the value of your home will give you the best chance.
This can take a lot of work and may eat up quite a lot of time, but it can also be well-worth it if you end up saving hundred or thousands of dollars on your property tax bill. When you do appeal, the assessor can choose to visit your property to get more information.
How to Win an Appeal
While you can choose to appeal on your own, often having an expert on your side will give you the advantage you need. The experts at Fair Assessments, LLC have experience and knowledge that can assist you on your journey. You can learn more by visiting our website or contact us at 404-618-0355.