Atlanta, GA Area Property Tax Protest Companies

No one wants to pay more than necessary when it comes to items in their budgets, including taxes. When it comes to personal or commercial property taxes however, assessments can frequently be subjective. This can lead to assessments that are too high for a variety of reasons. Assessments are not an exact science, and that is why there is a process for protesting property tax assessments. While this is a process an individual can embark upon by themselves, most are too busy. This is where a tax protest company can provide value.

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Risks Involved when Filing a Cobb County Property Tax Appeal

The best Cobb County tax consultants are providers of services essential in effective and efficient management of annual property taxes. These tax professionals will not only provide competent representation during the appeals process but will also provide a wide range of consultation services regarding taxation for residential, commercial, and agricultural property. 

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Gwinnett Real Estate Tax Consultants as Your Advocate

The best Gwinnett real estate tax consultants do their jobs well because they keep in mind their most important role – as advocates for their clients, especially when appealing their property assessment values with the local taxing authorities. Indeed, all the other roles and responsibilities of real property tax consultants are secondary in nature. 

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Atlanta Property Tax Consultants

In the Atlanta Metropolitan area there are many property tax consulting firms. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, Georgia tax law does not require that the counties appraise all properties every year, and infrequent appraisals often resulted in large percentage increases in value. Also, the county tax assessors’ values were incorrect in many cases and unfair (inequitable) in others. When property owners get large increases in tax assessments and corresponding tax bills in general they are outraged and want to do something about it. That is why there are so many property tax consultants in the Atlanta Metro area.

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Fair Assessments, LLC vs. Appraisers

This article contrasts the work done by Fair Assessments, LLC vs. Appraisers. During the recent real estate depression (some might say ongoing) many people saw that there was money to be made in property tax reduction work and got into the business. Many of the people/companies that have gotten into this work are real estate appraisers. Some people might think that this is a natural extension of what appraisers already do for a living. They might be wrong. 

The appraisal business has changed a lot since I did this work twenty years ago. The government, in the name of protecting federally insured institutions and the public, has (unintentionally) driven down the price of a real estate appraisal. There are a handfull of large companies that make software for appraisers, and some of them saw a way to make more money by providing marketing services to appraisers. One that I am aware of, a la mode inc., pushes it's print and email marketing software to appraisers that "will proactively help you get new clients that pay higher fees."

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How Much Should I Pay a Property Tax Consultant?

For residential property tax appeal consulting the cost falls in a narrow range. Your best bet is to find the most qualified consultant that you can. Typical residential flat fees may be $350 or higher. Alternatively, many companies charge $250 up front and 25% of whatever tax savings are generated. Some offer $150 +/- plus a third of the tax savings generated. Generally speaking qualifications are more important than saving a few dollars in up-front cost.

Beware of companies that send you a letter or postcard that says "this is how much we think we can save you $." You can be reasonably certain they are using a database of old values to generate these postcard savings estimates. I would be very cautious about this, especially if there’s a high flat fee involved. Some of these companies may charge $350 or more, and if you’re in a city or county that reappraises on an annual basis, spending that much money may be a losing proposition. If they get a reduction that doesn't cover their service fees, and the County increases your tax assessment the next year, then you have just wasted your money.

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Property Tax Appeals - Using Equity

Equity is not an approach to value, yet for assessment purposes it can be as important as one. Equity is all about fairness. Specifically that your property tax burden is fair when compared to your neighbor, or your competition. Most states that I have worked in require that tax jurisdictions must assess based on equity, or “uniformity.” This is to ensure that the tax burden is distributed fairly. The exceptions that I am aware of are Florida and Ohio. (Full disclosure: I have worked property tax appeals in ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA, WV, OH, NC, SC, GA, AL, FL)

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Property Tax Appeals - Using the Income Approach

The Income Approach uses capitalization to convert the anticipated benefits of the ownership of property into an estimate of present value.

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Fulton County Taxpayer Foundation Ends Property Tax Appeal Work

As reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation (FCTF) is on the verge of collapse. They have laid off the staff that was doing property tax appeal work and have hired an auditor to make a decision on whether to continue the organization under new leadership, or shut it down. The current President, John Sherman's health is failing.

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Property Tax Appeals - Using the Sales Comparison Approach

    The Sales Comparison Approach estimates a property’s value (or some other characteristic, such as its depreciation) by reference to comparable sales.

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