Many taxpayers believe that hiring the services of a Cobb County tax consultant is unnecessary especially in financial terms. Taxpayers, after all, can prepare and file their tax returns as well pay for their taxes on their own.
Appealing your property tax assessment requires comprehensive skills and knowledge about property tax rules and regulations. It also demands time, effort and energy, which may not possess. So it is well-advised to hire an experienced Cobb tax consultant.
Every year, the Cobb County Tax Assessor sends out the Annual Notice of Assessment to all residential and commercial property owners. Many of these owners will file appeals against their assessments on one or all of three grounds, namely, value, taxability and equalization.
When it is time to choose one of the property tax consultants in Cobb County, it can be an overwhelming proposition. This is especially the case if you have never had contact with a property tax consultant in the past. However, with many properties being assessed at a higher rate than is appropriate, you may find yourself in need of an expert. Your property tax consultant will be able to help you determine the value of your home and represent you in your appeal. Today we’ll be going over the steps associated with finding an expert, high-quality property tax consultant in Cobb County.
Every year end brings a close to previous plans and ambitions. A new year brings forth new prospects in nearly all affairs. The same approach extends to the taxation field. A new year brings the realization of an overview of the same. Cobb County uses taxes to finance their operations similar to other states and countries. Taxation systems involve different forms and approaches from corporate tax to personal income tax. One form of taxation in all Georgia counties is the property tax. This form of tax has often led to contention based on tax assessment value. Often the revaluation of tax assessments lead to higher levels of taxation.
Property owners and titleholders find it challenging to meet these higher tax burdens. Aggrieved individuals could correct this scenario through a property tax appeal. To understand how property taxes are generated it is proper to look at the system. The process commences when the board of tax assessors, a supposedly independent body, review and establish a fair value for all taxable property in the county. The board of tax assesors is formed and delegated duties through the county commissioners. The beginning of every New Year, January 1, is the property valuation date in Georgia. Property owners fill forms that determine exemption or tax subjection. It is important to note that taxable values conform to the state laws.
In accordance with Georgia Law (OCGA 48-5-264.1), the chief appraiser, other members of the county property appraisal staff, and members of the county board of tax assessors may go upon property outside of buildings, posted or otherwise, in order to carry out the duty of updating property records to facilitate the estimating of the fair market values of taxable property in the county.
It's springtime in Atlanta! Oh wait, it's in the 60s with thunderstorms and a tornado watch and it's only January 30! Such is life in the capital of the new South. If you don't like the weather just wait a little while. There will be a similar tornado watch this spring as the tax assessors begin to send out tax assessment notices to every real property owner in the state of Georgia.
Last year the Cobb County Tax Assessor created quite a storm when they sent out huge increases on commercial properties. Many of the unsuspecting commercial property owners were dumbfounded at the taxable value increases they saw, considering they were still struggling to keep tenants in their buildings and competing with other struggling property owners for new tenants. Even though some of their values were, honestly, a little low, they couldn't believe that with the same net operating income as the previous year their taxable value could be 50% to 100% higher.
The Cobb County Assessors office uses current mass appraisal standards and recent sales data to determine property values. As a result of the end of the moratorium on assessment increases this year they decided to send out new assessments. Some of the commercial real property values doubled. In many cases they were changing values that were established by the Board of Equalization (BOE) in 2011. The Cobb County Assessors claim they physically inspected all properties that received an increase in tax assessment which allowed them to change BOE values.
Business assets owned by a company or organization used in the day to day operations of the business are considered taxable personal property. All businesses are required to send a detailed report of all property annually unless the total value of the property is less than $7,500. Failure to do so can result in a 10% penalty. Reports are due to the Cobb County Assessors office by April 1 each year. Similarly, real property tax returns are due by April 1 and should report any changes to the property description from the prior year. In Georgia if you do not file a property tax return you have, in effect, returned the same value that the tax assessors had on it the prior year.
Once returns are received, the Cobb County Assessors office will analyze the value to determine if they agree. If the assessors do not agree with the returned value they have to send an appealable assessment notice to the property owner. In the event that the owner disagrees with the value calculated by the Cobb County Assessors office, a formal appeal must be submitted in writing within 45 days of the value notice date. Generally, it's best to send the appeal documentation via certified mail to ensure proper delivery in a timely manner. This also ensures you maintain adequate records in the event that the date may be questioned. At this time, the Cobb County Assessors office does not accept appeals or asset reports electronically. All paperwork must be delivered by courier, mail, or hand delivered.
Upon receiving the appeal, the Cobb County Assessor office will send an acknowledgement letter to you stating the recommendation to the Board of Tax Assessors. They will then decide whether to make any changes to the valuation of assets. In the event that you are not satisfied with any change in valuation, you then have 30 days to file a written appeal to the Board of Equalization. Once a hearing is set before the board, you will be notified of the hearing date and given the opportunity to present your case during the appeal hearing. The Cobb County Assessor officer will also have the chance to present evidence there. If neither side can agree with the Board of Equalization's finding, then the matter can be appealed to the Superior Court for final decision.
The Cobb County Assessors office indicated that after a two year freeze on assessment increases that the State of Georgia imposed on all counties it was time for assessment increases. Especially, they said, because property owners kept appealing during the moratorium, forcing values lower and lower. Of course it is hard to argue that during the moratorium values weren't falling lower and lower. Should you have any additional questions about property taxes contact the Cobb County Assessor's office at 770-528-3100.
There is just over a week remaining to appeal your commercial Cobb County property tax assessments. The Cobb County property tax assessors took the first opportunity to increase values in several years to heart and jacked up a lot of commercial values. I have filed appeals on commercial values that have increases as high as 115%!
Most commercial property owners will say that we are still in recession, but not the Cobb County property tax assessors. I have clients that are teetering on the edge of insolvency but everything is looking up at 736 Whitlock Avenue! Maybe they haven't noticed that vacancy rates haven't improved. Maybe they haven't heard that tenants can still demand lower rent payments on the legitimate threat of moving to a lower cost building.