Many property owners and taxpayers simply pay their Gwinnett county commercial property tax, often with little to no questions asked. But this shouldn’t be as one of your rights and responsibilities is to know the basics of the taxation process from property valuation to tax collection.
You don’t have to give the tax authorities, tax accountants and lawyers, and tax consultants a run for their money. You just have to know the basics so that you can engage in intelligent conversations about your tax reduction strategies with your tax advisor.
Valuation Done by the Local Assessors
In most, if not all, jurisdictions in the United States, the local tax assessors and/or appraisers determine the value of the real and personal property subject to property taxes. These people are usually employees of the local government although many may have been contracted for the specific purpose of property assessments.
Each local government has rolls of property subject to property taxes, usually classified into residential and commercial property. These parcels are valued according to their fair market values (FMV), which are then multiplied by a specific ratio to arrive at the assessed value (AV). In the State of Georgia, for example, the FMV is multiplied by 40% to arrive at the AV that, in turn, is the amount used in the determination of the property tax.
Depending on the type of property, the valuation methods can include the cost approach, income approach, and sales comparison approach. For Gwinnett county commercial property tax purposes, the income approach is the most commonly used.
Notification of the Assessment Value
When the local tax assessors have determined the assessed values for all the parcels on its rolls, they will then send out the annual notice of assessments to the property owners. In these notices, the details about the subject property are shown – the owner and address, the lot size and square foot of the home, the classification, and the assessed value. In Georgia, these notices are usually sent out on a yearly basis so that property owners can be informed about changes in their assessments.
Appeal of the Assessment Value
Under the tax code, the property owners have the right to appeal the assessment values for any applicable year within a certain period. In Georgia, you have 45 days from the date on the annual notice of assessment to file a formal appeal with your chosen venue – the Board of Equalization, the hearing officer, the arbitrators, or the Superior Court. You can also choose from among several grounds of appeal, namely, uniformity, taxability and value for commercial property.
Think of the appeal as your formal protest against the unfair, incorrect or unjust assessment of your commercial property. Your tax reduction consultant will gather the evidence necessary to prove your point although the burden of proof lies on the Board of Assessors.
Collection of Taxes
Keep in mind, however, that even when your formal appeal in on process, you will be required to pay a certain percentage of your original tax bill issued by the Tax Commissioner. You can apply the payment on your final tax bill after the appeal has been resolved, whether it’s in your favor or not.
The need to appeal your Gwinnett county commercial property tax– or more appropriately, the assessed value on your commercial property – cannot be overemphasized. With property taxes on the rise even in an economic downturn, every dollar saved is a dollar earned for your business.
For a hassle-free Gwinnett county commercial property tax appeal, let Fair Assessments, LLC do the work. Fair Assessments, LLC is a Georgia licensed appraiser with three decades property valuation, assessment and appeals experience.