Owning a home or business can be a lot more complicated when renting one. As a renter, your requirements might be to pay a security deposit, pet deposit, and first and last months’ rent. When owning a home, you have to think about assessments and property taxes along with your mortgage and any other expenses to get an idea of what you pay in a year. When you understand your expenses, this can help you plan for the rest of the year. Having someone to provide you with property tax services can be a huge help, but understanding the basics is still important.
What Property Taxes Are
Every year, Cobb County, Georgia, and the city you reside in will charge taxes on each piece of real estate in their jurisdiction. Besides your mortgage, property taxes may be one of the most expensive aspects of owning a home or business. In most cases, these taxes are governed by the state of Georgia but collected by the county you are in. Each county can choose how often to calculate these taxes; however, it is most often done on a yearly basis. The calculation is done by taking the assessed value of your home and applying a tax rate to it.
The Role of Direct Assessments
While many would group direct assessments in as part of your property taxes, that’s not entirely accurate. These assessments are flat fees each plot of real estate must pay after a vote. These fees are used to fund services that property taxes do not cover. This might include library services, local schools, street lighting and landscaping, parks and recreation, and an increased police presence. These assessments will vary by year depending on recent votes in Cobb County.
Don’t Forget Any Special Assessments
There may or may not also be special assessments that you are required to pay based on the location of your home or business. These are often required in subdivisions that have special needs for extra schools, emergency services, and parks due to a large amount of housing going out at once. In most cases, these are offered to all areas residents and are funded through special assessments. Your professional in property tax services can offer more insight into the details if this applies to you.
How Property Tax is Determined
When you get your property tax bill, it will provide summarized details about what amount is required based on your property. These taxes are commonly calculated on a yearly basis and take into account the county’s assessed value based on the parcel of land. In most cases, when a home is sold, this number is reset to the amount it sells for as this is considered to be market value when the sale goes through. However, as time passes, this number may no longer be reasonable compared to other properties in the area. This might occur if the property gains value more quickly than the assessor assumes it does, or vice versa. This can lead to tax amounts in Cobb County that are extremely out of whack compared to the average.
Process for Revising a Tax Assessment
In most cases, the process for revising your tax bill to be more realistic is known as a supplemental assessment. The first bill after this is done may reflect the exclusions and exemptions of the past owner, but this will change by the time the second bill comes around. You may also receive a supplemental assessment which will show you the decrease or increase in the bill required based on the new set of circumstances.
Choosing to Appeal Your Assessment
If you believe your Cobb County tax assessment is incorrect, an expert in property tax services can be a great assistance. There are a few steps you have to take to get things changed. What you have to keep in mind is that you can’t appeal your actual tax bill, what you can appeal is the assessed value of the property. If you check your assessment information and find that it has an error, such as the wrong number of rooms, wrong square footage, or missing renovation, there is a formal appeal process available.
Appeal Review Information
In some counties, you can only have an appeal reviewed when sending it by mail. However, there may be a phone process or a board meeting you can go to instead. Talk with your property tax services consultant to determine what the best option is. You will otherwise need to visit the assessor’s office to get information on how the process works for you. However, having a professional at your side can take away the need for additional research and give you a leg up when sending in your appeal. In many cases, this individual can help you gather the right evidence to have a good chance at having your taxes lowered.
Be Certain to Mind the Deadlines
Every state has its own set of deadlines as far as when you can appeal your assessment each year. This will be printed on your assessment notice so be sure to read it over in full. If you need to confirm the deadline, you can often visit the website for your local assessor or make a phone call to the office. In addition, the person you speak to can offer information on whether you should appeal by mail, in person, or by phone. That said, it is ultimately your responsibility to prove the assessment is incorrect.
Having help on your side in the form of a Cobb County property tax services professional can go a long way in helping your case. At Fair Assessments LLC, we offer answers to questions about appealing, other resources, and more. We can help you handle a tax appeal on a commercial property in the Southeastern United States.