Know What You Can and Cannot Control In Property Tax Increases

Posted by Daniel Jones on Oct 18, 2019 9:30:00 AM

There’s no sense in ranting and raving about things beyond your control regarding increases in your annual property tax. You’re just wasting your energy otherwise since obviously there’s nothing that you can actually do to change these things. Instead, you should focus on what you can control and, thus, change so you can enjoy tax credits and the like. 

What You Can Control Now

Keep in mind that your annual property tax will be influenced by the assessed value and the fair market value of your home. Every home improvement project may result in the increase in your property tax and, conversely, every damage from natural and manmade causes may decrease it. The operative word here is “may” since the tax assessor still has the final say in the matter until and unless you file a formal appeal. 

Here are five home improvement projects that will likely result in an increase in your property taxes, especially when the tax assessor hears about them. Lest you think that you can keep it a secret, you may not be able to do so for certain projects. You may be required to file for a building permit, for example, with the local government and the tax assessor may or may not be notified about it. 

  • Additions to your home, such as extra bathrooms or bedrooms, require a local permit and the tax assessor will probably be notified about it.
  • Renovations made to the interior or exterior of your home will influence its fair market value and, thus, the property tax levied on it.
  • Conversion of spaces, such as a garage into a family den or a basement into a mini-apartment, will also mean higher fair market value.
  • Improvements made to exterior areas particularly lawns, gardens and backyards are more noticeable when tax assessors come a-calling during the assessment period.
  • Construction of outdoor buildings, such as sheds, pools and gazebos, are also classified as home improvements that increase the property’s assessed value.

The bottom line: Before you spend a single dime on making these home improvement projects, you have to consider the consequent increase in property tax. You may want to consult a tax consultant first so as to minimize your tax burden in the coming years. 

What You Cannot Control

And there are the factors that you have little to no control of. You can’t ask your neighbors, for example, to stop their home improvement projects since your property’s assessed value will be affected.

  • Taxes imposed by the state and local governments

While you have a say in the imposition of these taxes, such as lobbying the lawmakers, you have little control over it. The government has to pay for a wide range of services, from the salaries of employees to the delivery of basic services, and its money comes largely from taxes.

  • Home improvements made by your neighbors

Let’s say that you haven’t been making changes to your home but your neighbors have been doing so, and it’s their right to do so. Your home’s assessed value will likely increase because the tax assessors consider the value of comparable property – your neighbors’ property, of course – in their assessments. 


If you don’t want to pay property taxes, you may want to consider offloading your real property and becoming a renter instead. But the latter option isn’t an attractive one either. The best thing that you can do is to minimize your tax burden by being more creative and working with a tax professional at Fair Assessments, LLC for your property tax appeal. 

Topics: Georgia property tax, Atlanta property tax, property tax appeal

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