To Appeal or Not to Appeal Your DeKalb County Property Tax

Posted by Daniel Jones on Feb 15, 2019 12:09:00 PM

Sometimes it’s tough to know exactly what to do in a situation - and here’s one of those. You make your daily stop by the mailbox, grab your mail, and head home for the day. You take a few minutes to skim through what you just picked up and you find that your DeKalb County property tax assessment has arrived.

So, you open that one to check out what you owe, but you find a number that is quite a bit different than what you were expecting. Your jaw drops, while you stand there scratching your head and trying to figure out how in the world the county came up with that number. Then, as you start to get your thoughts back together, you start to think, something just isn’t quite right. And you begin to wonder what you can do about it, when all of a sudden it hits you… can appeal it.

How Do You Decide to Appeal, or Not to Appeal?

Once you’ve decided to consider appealing your DeKalb County property tax assessment, you can start looking into some things to see what kind of case you’ll have. You can start by finding out what the market value of your property is so that you can compare it to the value it was given in the current assessment. If the market value is less than the assessment value, that is a very good reason to file an appeal. There’s a good chance you could end up saving yourself some amount of money.

If your property tax changed, and it was not even supposed to be reassessed, you have cause for an appeal of the DeKalb County property tax assessment. In some instances, properties are not to be reassessed because they fall under specific exemptions. This is a case where, at the very least, you need to be able to find out what happened with the exemption to ensure that it is in the system as it should be. In many cases though, you will save yourself some money and find peace of mind knowing that everything is being straightened out for the future, also.

It’s really important to look at the assessor’s data. The assessment is performed by a human being. The information entered into the system that calculates your DeKalb County property tax is keyed by a human being, as well. Humans are amazing and intelligent beings. But that doesn’t mean they do not ever make mistakes. The assessor’s data could be flat out wrong. You need to be vigilant and always look over the information about your property that is used to calculate your property tax to make sure that it is indeed correct.

Your situation may be a little bit different. You might be asking yourself if you should appeal your DeKalb County property tax assessment because you have in the past, but you and your agent were unsuccessful. If this is your case, understand that you have every right to appeal again and that many times the outcome is different. There are a number of reasons why appeals get denied, but there are many more reasons for why they get granted. So, the numbers are on your side.

Know Your Rights As a Taxpayer During an Appeal

There have been some significant changes for taxpayers in the State of Georgia regarding the rights they have during an appeal. The following are some of the biggest changes that you, as a property owner with the potential for an appeal, should be aware of.

  • Should you receive your DeKalb County property tax assessment notice, and it shows a change in the value of your assessed property, there must also be a phone number and the name of an individual that you can call, who will be able to answer any questions knowledgeably about the change in your property’s assessed value and the appeals process. Also, if the change is an increase that is more than 15%, there must be a brief explanation about where the increase came from.
  • If there is a denial for an appeal, you are to be given an explanation as to the reasons for the denial from the tax assessors board who made the rejection.
  • The burden of proof falls on the tax assessors, not you as the property owner, when they change the value of the property. It doesn’t matter how high the appeals process goes, the burden of proof will still lie with the board of tax assessors.
  • The board of equalization (BOE) is who will work the appeal. They are also who makes the appointment for your appeal. Sometimes the time and date they choose doesn’t fit into your schedule. You are granted one opportunity to reschedule the appointment to a time that will work better for you.
  • There are times when you could possibly have your court fees and other costs incurred from the appeal of your DeKalb County property tax assessment, paid for in the judgment. If it is found that the final value of your property is 85% or lower of the assessed value, then you are entitled to having your court costs recovered.
  • You are allowed to make any recordings of discussions with the appraisers or assessors when those discussions are with regards to anything that has to do with the assessment or the appeal.

What Should You Do Now?

As soon as you make the decision to appeal your DeKalb County property tax assessment, you need to find an expert to help you. Getting professionals involved who know the ins and outs of the appeals process and what information is needed to get the process rolling as quickly as possible, is a must if you want it done efficiently and successfully.

If you live in DeKalb County, and you have any reason to want to lower your property tax with an appeal, then reach out to Fair Assessments, LLC and get the process started. These professionals specialize in property tax assessment appeals. They have decades of experience with property valuation and reducing property taxes. Let these experts help you with yours.


Topics: dekalb county property appraiser

property tax appeals

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