Georgia Taxpayers Return of Real Property

Today I want to talk about an often misunderstood form, the Georgia Taxpayer’s Return of Real Property. This time of year, prior to April 1, real estate “experts” start telling everyone (on radio, over email) that you need to return this form to tell the tax assessor what you think your property is worth. There is an urgency about these claims, because the deadline to file this form is indeed April 1. Some of them claim that you need to do this to appeal the tax assessor’s value.

Read More

Get Lower Property Taxes in Georgia

No one wants to pay high property taxes. Then again, no one wants to live somewhere with low property values. You want to purchase your home at a low price, watch the area improve, make improvements to your home, and then sell it at a higher value than you bought it.

Read More

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.

Read More

Know Your Georgia Property Tax Laws

If you live in Georgia, and you own property, you’re going to be paying Georgia property tax. You’re probably also going to have some questions about how these taxes work, when they’re due, if you can appeal yours, and when you might be exempt or able to get a deferment.

Read More

Georgia Property Tax Appeals: New Georgia Property Tax Law

As of July 1, 2013, any appeal related adjustments to value are subject to these new provisions. The taxpayer may be charged interest on tax amounts due when the taxpayer owes the county money after the property tax appeal is resolved. Likewise, the tax commissioner may owe interest on refunds owed the taxpayer after the property tax appeal is resolved.  

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Fulton Commercial Real Estate Owners Reel From Assessments

Taxes are an inevitable part of life, an unpleasant one maybe but essential to the running of the country. In most cases, you receive the bill, grumble about it and then see that it gets paid; just occasionally though you receive a tax bill that doesn’t seem right. What can you do when the tax bill you receive for your commercial property doesn’t seem fair? By following a few simple steps and putting all your evidence together, you can appeal against the amount you are being charged and try to get the bill lowered.

Facts That Determine Assessment

Property taxes in Fulton start with the Fulton tax assessors whose responsibility it is to work out the value of a property before applying 40% to that amount to reach the assessed value of the property on which the tax is based. To get some understanding of whether your tax bill is fair you will need to compare it with those sent to owners of similar properties and, if possible, get help from someone, such as a realtor, who has a good understanding of property values in your area.

However, commercial property taxes are not based purely on the value of the building and to create a case against the assessment of the Fulton tax assessors you will also need to know your expense ratio, net operating income, and capitalization rate. The best way to get your capitalization rate is to derive it from the sales of similar properties.

Once you have these figures you are ready to start to build an appeal case; the next step is to decide on what grounds you are going to base the appeal. You could choose to argue that the market rental rate is lower than the rate that has been used by the Fulton tax assessors. If you can find grounds to do so you can argue that your property is unique and will, therefore, never have the low expense ratio that was used in the assessment. The third option is to argue that the capitalization rate used is the assessment was too low.

The Appeal Process

The Fulton tax assessor’s offices set out a 45 day period from receiving your tax notice, to lodge your appeal. If you are sending documentation to their office, it is always a good idea to send it as certified mail so that you receive confirmation that your documents have reached their destination. Appealing in person can involve an informal discussion with the County appraiser and allows you the opportunity to explain why you disagree with the assessor's decision, and to ask questions. Prior to any meeting, send only the necessary documentation, and take the rest with you as further evidence of your case.

If you lose your appeal at this stage, it is not necessarily the end of the process; you can choose to have your case heard by the Board of Equalization which is free or you could choose to go to arbitration. When attending your appeal hearing remember to be on time, to explain your case clearly and to listen carefully to what is being said. The hearings are quite short, and you may have a lot of details to go through, but stick to the point and keep it short and business like. Whatever else you do, remember to stay calm and professional.

Arbitration does have costs attached but may be the best option if you have had mixed previous experiences with using the Board of Equalization. If you are still not in agreement with their decision then your final option is the Superior Court appeal, whose judgment on the matter is final.

Read More

Georgia Tax Appeals 2012-2013

According to Georgia state law all property tax assessment notices were to be in the mail by July 1. That means for some counties the property tax appeal deadline will be mid August. Most of the Metropolitan Atlanta counties had appeal deadlines that have already passed. If you didn't get your Georgia tax appeals filed in a timely manner there's always next year. Also, according to George state law you will be getting an assessment notice every year.

The bottom in the real estate market has been called over and over again since the market peak in 2007. Once again, the so-called experts are out in force, saying that the data doesn't lie, the housing market is in recovery. But with an unemployment rate that is still over 8% and economic shocks, such as European debt crisis and the fiscal cliff, looming at the end of this year I doubt there will be any sort of robust recovery in the housing market.

Read More

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.

Read More
property tax appeals

Subscribe to our A Fair Shake Blog:

How Tax Assessors Use Sales to Value Property
New call-to-action