3 Critical Steps upon Getting Your Property Tax Assessment

Every year, you will receive a property tax assessment since it is part of being a real property owner. Your reaction when you see your tax payable will likely be frustration because it just keeps increasing every year. You want to protest it but either you don’t know how or you’ve been unsuccessful in your previous attempts.

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GA Tax Assessors Might Have Your Commercial Property and Residential Property Taxes Wrong

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Tips for Getting the Property Tax Cut You Deserve


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.

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Filing an Appeal for Property Taxes in Georgia

If you believe that the GA tax assessors did not provide you with an accurate assessment of your home’s value, such as valuing the property too high, it will cause some issues with your taxes. Namely, you are going to be paying more in taxes than you should be paying based on the supposed value of your property rather than the real value of the property. Whether this happens just once or year after year, it costs you quite a bit. It is, therefore, a good idea to consider an appeal for your property tax as soon as possible.

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Tips for Getting a Property Tax Reduction

Your property taxes are assessed every year, based on such elements as your property’s market value, your neighborhood, schools and parks near you, and your curb appeal. In a perfect world, you’d have a beautiful home with a very high property value, great curb appeal, and a safe and welcoming neighborhood, and you’d have low property taxes, too.

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Georgia Property Tax Appeals: Filing Procedures

After receiving your Notice of Assessment, a taxpayer/property owner may file a  written appeal within 45 days (depending on your county) of Notice Date. Click here to obtain a copy of the appeal form.

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Georgia Property Tax Appeals Explained by a Professional

Last year more people reported having difficulties in securing successful Georgia property tax appeals and assessments for their Georgia property taxes. According to a recent report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (3/31/2012) many are unsuccessful in appealing due to a simple lack of preparation. As the saying goes, people don't plan to fail, they fail to plan.

Those well prepared and educated about the Georgia property tax appeals process are much more likely to succeed, which saves money. One of the biggest mistakes people make has to do with failing to present the appropriate comparable sales for their area. Going into the assessor's office or the Board of Equalization and claiming that your value can't be higher this year because values have been falling throughout the metropolitan area isn't good enough. Proper preparation is key. If you know a realtor, they may be willing to help you determine what the best comparables are, and what are not.

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Gwinnett County Property Tax Challenge

Challenging Property Taxes 

Most people understand that their property taxes are based off the value of the homes or businesses they own. This valuation is reviewed yearly and property taxes are adjusted up (or down) accordingly. At least, this is how the system is supposed to work. In reality, valuations can vary widely and often times the assessor’s office is simply too overwhelmed to be able to do more than a cursory evaluation of the property’s value, leaving the property owner to wonder if they are being taxed fairly.

In the current market, it’s especially important to review your property tax assessment and, if needed file an appeal. Although the appeals process is fairly straightforward, having professional assistance in the process can mean the difference between a successful appeal (lower taxes!) or a great deal of wasted effort.

Municipalities do not like losing money and (again, thanks to the depressed real estate market) are being sticklers when it comes the appeals process.

Hiring a Professional

A professional appeals agent understands the appeals process, knows the market conditions and most importantly, knows where the little “gotchas” are when it comes to the red tape. Simply going in and appearing before the appeals officer and saying “I think my taxes should be lower,” simply will not cut it.

There are two different ways an appeals agent can help; coaching you through the process (you still plead your case yourself) or having the agent stand in on your behalf. Either way can help better your chances of winning your property tax appeal.


A professional appeals agent can work with you on how to correctly come up with a property valuation based on comparable sales, walk you through the entire appeals procedure and coach you on how best to present your case. The agent can run through the various questions you are likely to be asked and help you best phrase your responses. This is usually a less expensive option.

Agent Representative

Going this route relieves you of all the work…from filing the paperwork, to collecting the required information to the appeal itself. This is a more expensive option, but it relieves you of the associated hassle as well.

How Much Lower Will My Taxes Go?

Of course, you are interested in saving money, but the fact is no one will be able to guarantee you an actual amount saved (if they do, they are scam artists…run!). The fact is you may not save a dime. The appeals officer may look at the information presented and determine your valuation is correct (or in some instances…not high enough and actually raise it!). However, hiring a professional and having a clear picture of your situation will go a long way to achieving your desired outcome. 

Is It Worth The Effort?

No one likes taxes. This is not about avoiding social responsibility. However, you have the right as a citizen to be taxed appropriately. Many property owners know they are being overtaxed, yet do nothing about it thinking it’s too difficult of a process. The fact is, appealing your property valuation can save you money and at the same time, help promote fairness in government.

Is There a Guarantee?

The short answer is no. However, with the proper information and planning many cases are ruled in favor of the property owner, resulting in significant tax savings.

How Do I Get Started?

The best thing to do is call a property tax agent and talk with them. They can usually give you an idea if your case if worth pursuing or not after collecting some very basic information. They are very likely to have a working relationship with the Gwinnett County tax assessor.

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Fulton Tax Assessors

There is still time to appeal your valuation notice from the Fulton Tax Assessors. The deadline to appeal is June 28. The Fulton tax assessors usually receive more property tax appeals than any other county in the Atlanta metropolitan area. They are currently still working on their 2011 appeals as well as court cases from prior years. There is hope that they will get to their 2012 assessment appeals sometime soon so that this property tax appeal season doesn't drag on well into 2013.

As a former manager for the Fulton Tax Assessors, I know about the volume of appeals they get. Every appeal form or letter is put into a separate file for every real estate parcel appealed. Each appeal is logged into the computer system. This process, by itself, is very time-consuming. With a large number of appeals being filed in the last week, you can bet that many of the appeal folders that are given to the appropriate appraiser won't even be completed until the end of July. If you try to talk to the appropriate appraiser about your property tax appeal they may tell you that they don't have the appropriate file to work with you.

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Fulton County Board of Equalization

File a Fulton Tax Appeal

Fulton County Tax Assessors have released the dogs, I mean the 2012 property tax assessment notices. All that I have seen were dated yesterday May 14 and have an appeal deadline of June 28. There isn't a big rush to get these filed as the Fulton Tax Assessor staff is busy working 2011 tax appeal hearings at the Fulton County Board of Equalization.

The Fulton County Board of Equalization (BOE) is always inundated with appeals every year as it can be difficult to get substantial relief from the Tax Assessor's staff. In addition, many people (inluding myself) prefer to have our appeals settled at the Fulton County Board of Equalization due to the property tax law known as 299C. This is a section of the Georgia property tax law that states if your appeal is settled at the BOE or Superior Court, the value should be frozen for three years, unless you change the property or file a return at a different value.

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property tax appeals

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