As we all sit at home with the economy at a virtual stand-still it may seem like your taxable real estate value value shouldn't be rising. However, the effective date of appraisal for tax purposes in Georgia is January 1 every year. The Covid-19 problems were not an issue until March of 2020.
According to the Case-Shiller Atlanta Home Price Index values in the Atlanta metro area rose approximately 4.5% in 2019. Of course all real estate is local and this is an average over a very wide number of market areas. The values in your neighborhood could have fallen, stabilized, or rose more than 4.5%.
All of the area tax assessment offices have been closed for over a month and tax assessment notices are delayed as a result. Gwinnett County says their notices will be mailed May 1. Cobb County normally sends notices in April and they are delayed also. Now that Governor Kemp has lifted the shelter-in-place for most Georgians you can expect to see your 2020 tax assessment notice sometime in the next two months.
Due to the continued strong real estate market in most locations in 2019 do not be surprised if your taxable value increases over the 2019 value. They may be correct about the value of your real estate as of January 1 but they may be wrong too. That is why there is a tax assessment appeal process in Georgia. The tax assessors can't be right all of the time. They use models and statistical testing to develop the value they tax you on.
The tax assessor's mass appraisal system has its strengths, partially due to the State law, but it also has plenty of weaknesses. As someone that has worked for two different county tax assessment departments in Georgia and Virginia I have inside knowledge of the systems they use. This isn't like a fee appraiser for a bank loan that compares your house to other recent sales in the neighborhood to develop a value opinion. This is more like looking at the sales to see how wrong they are and then changing all of the values in a neighborhood.
If you would like help with your property tax assessment appeal please contact us.