Property owners throughout the country have a right to appeal their property tax assessment if they believe their property has been assessed at an unfairly high value, but the process of appeal varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. If you own property in Atlanta, Georgia -- specifically in Clayton County -- here are the steps that a property tax appeal involves and why you'll want to hire a property tax services firm.
Step 1: Receive a Notice of Assessment
When your property is assessed, Clayton County will provide you with an official Notice of Assessment. This document clearly states what the local property tax assessor has estimated your property’s fair market value to be.
Step 2: Hire a Professional Property Tax Assessor
If you believe the public assessor estimated your property’s value too high and want to file an appeal, promptly contact a professional property tax services firm that serves the area. You’ll need to act fairly quickly, because Fulton County gives property owners up to 45 days after receiving the Notice of Assessment to file an appeal.
While you theoretically might be able to go through the process yourself, it’s worthwhile to hire a property tax consultant. You’ll need to make a clear case why the public assessor’s estimate is too high, and winning this argument requires specialized knowledge. A professional property tax consultant will know how to best argue for a lower fair market value.
Your property tax consultant will review your property and explain what their assessment of its value is. They’ll go over all relevant details with you and answer any questions you have.
Step 3: File Your Appeal
Once the property tax consultant has completed their assessment, they’ll help you file an official property tax assessment appeal with the county government. The appeal can be filed online, via mail or in person, and you can choose to go through a Board of Equalization hearing, a non-binding arbitration arrangement, a Hearing Officer hearing or a Superior Court case. The consultant you hire can help you through all of these decisions and the process.
Step 4: Pay Your Bill While Waiting
As you wait for your appeal to be settled, you may still have to pay your bill as initially assessed. You cannot forestall payment until your appeal is settled, and not paying your bill on time could result in late fees or interest.
Step 5: Receive the Decision
When your appeal is settled, the county government will notify you. Assuming your appeal was successful, any amount you overpaid while waiting will be credited back to you.
Find a Property Tax Assessor
If you need a property tax services firm in Clayton County, contact us at Fair Assessments. We’ve helped many residential and commercial property owners lower their property tax bills, and we’ll work hard to help you.