Best Practices for Working With the Fulton County Board of Equalization

In Fulton County, the organizations that make a determination as to the value of your property are called the Board of Equalization. These are made up of other homeowners in the area who are appointed by the Grand Jury and who are managed by the Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts. 

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Fulton County Property Tax and the Tax Commissioner

There are two types of property taxes in America, one is the tax on the value of your land and buildings, and the second is on accessories such as machinery, delivery vans, and business furniture, also called personal property. For owners and managers of commercially intensive properties such as office buildings, retail, hotels and shopping centers it is vital that you ensure the tax assessment on your property is not exaggerated at your expense. 

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Are Fulton County Tax Assessors Creating Inaccuracies in Assessments?

Regular property assessments are the backbone of the property tax system in Fulton County and the rest of Georgia’s counties. The current system requires that Fulton County tax assessors value each home in the county over the course of several years to assess the home’s condition and value based on a variety of different factors. From that assessment, you will pay property taxes. However, are those Fulton County tax assessors responsible for creating accurate assessments actually creating inaccuracies?

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Fulton County Tax Assessment Errors Lead to Residents Overpaying

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin

No one likes taxes, but they’re an inescapable part of life. In order to have a functioning government, even on the local level, taxes must be assessed. Fulton County taxes come in several forms, including sales tax and property tax. The problem here is that inaccuracies in the mass property appraisal method used by Fulton County tax assessors lead to over assessment and errors, costing you more each year in property taxes. What’s the problem?

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Fulton County Tax Assessors 2013

The Fulton County tax assessors have begun work on the 2013 property tax appeals. Some Fulton County property owners have received no change letters from the tax assessors regarding their 2013 appeals while some have been offered reductions in what is called a 30 day letter. After you receive a reduction offer from the tax assessors you have 30 days to either accept the reduced value or appeal to the second level of appeal, which is the Fulton County Board of Equalization.

Recently, some of the 2013 property tax appeals have been scheduled to be heard by the Fulton County Board of Equalization. As recently as last month, the Board of Equalization was continuing to work on 2012 property tax appeal hearings and even a few 2011 property tax appeal hearings were being heard. They are not done with 2012 hearings, however. It appears that the Fulton County Tax Assessors staff is frequently using the board of equalization hearing as a tool to gain access to properties.

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Board of Equalization Georgia, Arbitration, and Hearing Officer

My last blog talked about how to appeal your tax assessment and its process. As discussed, you may opt to appeal to the County Board of Equalization, to a Hearing Officer or to an Arbitrator. To help you with your decision, I decided to discuss further how these 3 work and their differences.

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Fulton County Tax Assessors Are Digging a Big Hole

The Fulton County Tax Assessor's staff just can't get enough of being one year behind on their property tax appeal work. Twice in the past month I have been at Fulton County Board of Equalization hearings for tax year 2012 and the staff appraisers have requested a "field check." Once the appraiser produced an aerial photograph of the property in appeal and proclaimed that the size of the building in the County record must be wrong based on the photo alone. The other time the appraiser just seemed unprepared and wasn't willing to present what he had and let the Board make a decision. Again, he claimed that he needed to inspect the property before making any recommendation. 

This would be a reasonable request if this was July of 2012 but it is July of 2013. The worst part is that the Fulton County Tax Assessors have really just begun the process of pushing all of the 2012 appeals through to the BOE. Just like the Fulton County Board of Equalization was hearing 2011 property tax appeals earlier in 2013, they will be hearing 2012 property tax appeals in 2014. 

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Fulton County Tax Assessors "Perfect" Sale Ratios

The Fulton County tax Assessors have posted some sale ratios statistics on their website showing how well they have done with their 2013 reappraisal. At first glance, these statistics look stellar given that Fulton is such a large, diverse county. Take a look:

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Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation Lives!!!

The bells were tolling for the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation in December of 2012 when the AJC reported that the nonprofit was on the verge of collapse. Apparently spending exceeded donations by a large margin and heads needed to roll. I reported in this blog that they had ended property tax appeal work at the Foundation. 

However, I have spoken to two members of the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation this week and the property tax appeal work has not ended. The problem was the Foundation was short on cash and unable to pay the appraisers that were working the appeals. The Foundation kept asking the Fulton County Board of Equalization to reschedule the appeals so they wouldn't incur the monetary obligation to the appraisers.

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Fulton County Property Appraiser

The Fulton County property appraiser is the chief appraiser that works for the Fulton County Board of Tax Assessors. In the state of Florida the tax assessor is often called the property appraiser so there may be some confusion in terminology. If you're looking for a real estate appraiser that works in Fulton County, Georgia see Atlanta Real Property Advisors.

The Fulton County chief appraiser is hired by the Fulton County Board of Tax Assessors to administer the tax assessment department. The chief appraiser has several deputy chief appraisers working for him or her to help with the management of this large department. The staff consists of residential appraisers, commercial appraisers, personal property appraisers, geographic information systems personnel, and administrative staff.

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