If you’re thinking about appealing the value given to your property by the Gwinnett County Tax Assessor, there are definitely some terms you need to know that will help you with knowing how to go about proving your claim and what kind of supporting evidence will be the most helpful for doing that. This discussion is going to be all about the different terms you might come across when you’re gathering evidence for your appeal and how to go about using this information to your advantage.
We’ll start with assessed value because if you’re planning to appeal your assessed value, then this is where your journey begins, so this is where our discussion will begin. The assessed value is the dollar amount that the Gwinnett County Tax Assessor will give to the Tax Commissioner as the property value amount that the millage rate should be applied to for calculating your property taxes.
There is a formula used by the county that comes up with a percentage amount of your property’s market value that is used to determine the assessed value. The assessed value and the market value of your property are not one in the same.
Fair Market Value
So, if assessed value and fair market value are not the same, then what is fair market value, right? The fair market value of your property is the value that you, the seller, and a buyer would be able to agree upon without anyone being pressured or convinced to take the price. If both sides can easily agree on a price, then that is the fair market value of the property. The Gwinnett County Tax Assessor does use the fair market value of your property to come up with the assessed value when they use the sales comparison method to appraise the property.
The Gwinnett County Tax Assessor uses three methodologies for finding the assessed value of your property. The three approaches are the sales comparison approach, the cost approach and the income approach.
The sales comparison approach consists of the assessor looking at sales of other properties in your area where the structures and land are much like yours. He will look at several recent sales, at least 3-5 of them to see what the properties are going for. He may have to pull from the prior year if there haven’t been enough to collect adequate data from.
When using the cost approach, the assessor calculates how much it would cost to reproduce your home or commercial building at the current time. He then subtracts out any accumulated depreciation and adds in the value of the land. The assessed value will be based on the calculated number for the replacement of the structures.
The final method is the income approach. This approach is only for properties that are income-generating. If you rent a home out, this could be used, or if you lease a commercial space. The assessed value will be based on what the net income is that you make from the property. The calculations will account for the gross income and all of the expenses you have for the upkeep and maintenance of the property.
Board of Assessors
The Board of Assessors is a panel of assessors that are responsible for handling appeals to the Gwinnett County Tax Assessor on the assessment values that property owners don’t agree with. There are five members on the board that are named to the Board by the Governing Authority of the County. In some cases the BOA makes the determination for the outcome of an appeal.
The millage rate is, essentially, the tax rate that is applied to the assessed value of your property that is used to calculate your property taxes. The Gwinnett County Tax Assessor generates the assessment value for your property. Then that value is multiplied by the millage rate so the Tax Commissioner can collect your Gwinnett County Property Taxes.
Board of Equalization
Once the BOA has reviewed your appeal and rendered a decision, you will be notified of any changes the Board has determined should be made to the value of your property. If you are unsatisfied with the determination, you have the right to reject it. If you reject the decision, your appeal will go on to be reviewed by the Board of Equalization. There will be a hearing date scheduled for you where you will be allowed to present your case to the BOE, including any evidence you have for supporting your appeal. The Gwinnett County Tax Assessor will also be permitted to present the data that was used to determine the value of your property. After both sides have been heard, the BOE will render a decision in private. You will be notified in writing about what their decision is. Again, you can accept or reject this decision.
Appeal Continuance Form
If you decide to reject the decision made by the BOE, you can submit an appeal continuance form to push your appeal with the Gwinnett County Tax Assessor further. You’ll then be requested to attend the Tax Assessor’s Office Settlement Conference Hearing. In this hearing, you and the assessor will try to reach an agreement. If none can be met, then your case will go on to be heard in the Superior Court.
It Seems Like a Lot, But There’s Help
These are just some of the terms you’ll come across in your quest to appeal your property’s assessed value with the Gwinnett County Tax Assessor. There are more that may come up that you may not be familiar with. But that’s ok. There’s help for you. The experts at Fair Assessments, LLC have all the experience needed to make your appeal go smoothly and come out positively for you. They are professionals who have been working in the business of property valuation and the appeals process for a long time. Call to have your case reviewed, and start getting your appeal prepared today.