Tips for Getting the Property Tax Cut You Deserve

Posted by Daniel Jones on Apr 2, 2018 12:00:00 AM


georgia property tax and appeal guide

Are you tired of always paying those property taxes that you feel are just too high for the home that you own, or your commercial property? Sure, nobody likes to pay taxes, but sometimes, you really are spending far too much money on your taxes. If you feel that the GA tax assessors have valued your property too highly, it might be a good idea to speak with some professionals who can determine if you are indeed overpaying.

Read the Assessment Letter and Understand It

You will receive an assessment letter in the mail that will provide you with the value of your property according to the county. Many people just simply accept this and then go on to pay their taxes. However, the value determined by the county might not always be the correct value. In fact, it can be quite wrong depending on how the GA tax assessors came up with the value. In many cases, they use mass appraisals, and this does not always provide the best results, even though it is faster for them.

You need to read the assessment letter to make sure that they have the facts right. Make sure the size of the property and lot, and the number of rooms are accurate. If they have the size wrong, even by a few hundred square feet, or if they have an extra bathroom or bedroom, it will throw off the valuation substantially. You need to make sure that all of the information is correct. If it is incorrect, the GA tax assessors need to be made aware of the problem.

Start to Look at the Right Comps

You will also need to look at the comps in the area. However, you can’t simply look at the comparable homes that are for sale right now. You need to look at the comp homes that sold during the time the county did the valuation of the property, as this was the information they used. The market might have been different at that time.

If you find that they made a mistake, you will want to gather your evidence and submit it for review. In some cases, they might agree in a relatively short period. Other times, they will not agree with you and you will need to file for an appeal.

Understand the Income Value for Commercial Properties

While looking at comps is one of the best ways to determine whether the residential property taxes are too high, the commercial properties are treated and calculated differently. They have different tax rates, and part of the assessment is looking at the amount of income potential that the property has.

The amount of money that the property makes is a massive factor in determining the taxes, but what the property can make and what it does make are often two different things. It is essential that you are certain that the GA tax assessors consider the right factors when they come up with their valuation.

Should You Appeal the Assessment on Your Own?

There is often a temptation to take care of the review and appeals process on your own when it comes to your property taxes. While there is something to be said for the DIY spirit, it is not always in your best interest. That tends to be the case with property tax assessments for a number of reasons. Unless you are well versed in how to assess the value of a property, and unless you have a substantial amount of time and can be sure you can fill out the paperwork properly and on time, it’s a better option to work with a professional tax consultant.

What If You Are Selling Your Home

If you are getting ready to sell your home, and you have been making some improvements, you are likely hoping that these upgrades are going to improve your home’s value for a bigger sale. However, if those changes and upgrades are not factored into the valuation of your home, then your home might be undervalued. This might mean that you are paying less in property tax than you should be, but it also means potential buyers are going to see your home as being worth less.

After all, they are going to be looking at the county’s valuation when they are trying to determine what they are going to pay for the home. They are not merely looking at the price tag that you place on the home. If your property is valued too low, you can also file for an appeal with the county. Just keep in mind that this is going to increase the amount you will be paying in taxes.

Finding a Professional

Of course, when you are looking for help from a property tax consultant, you do need to make sure you are working with only the best. This means you need to find those who have experience working with properties just like yours. If you have a residential property, then you need someone with experience with those homes and in your area. The same is true if you have a commercial property. Take the time to look at their qualifications. Have they worked with an assessor’s office in the past? What type of real results have they brought to the table for people in the past?

Fair Taxes Are Your Right

Yes, you need to pay property taxes. However, this does not mean that you should be gouged on those taxes because of a mistake. Always take the time to examine your taxes and whenever there is any doubt as to whether they are accurate, make sure that you take the time to have them checked. It can help you to save a substantial amount of money when you do this.

It’s time that you looked at your assessment letter to make sure your property taxes are accurate and to do something about it if they are not.

Topics: Georgia property tax assessment

property tax appeals

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