What to Know About Appealing your Property Tax

Posted by Daniel Jones on Apr 26, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Residents in Metropolitan Atlanta counties face a kind of double-edged sword when it comes to home values. Property values have risen by 5.6% over the past year, and are currently projected to increase by another 9.8% in the coming 12 months, according to the Atlanta Business Journal. In terms of investment, that's good news, but the 49% increase in home values over the past five years has created a corresponding tax burden for some homeowners.

Taxpayers have the right to contest the assessed value assigned to their property, but an appeal must typically be filed within 45 days of the receipt of the tax assessment notice. 

Appealing your Property Tax

The property tax rate is set annually by each country's governing board. Based on values assigned to individual properties by the county's tax assessment officials, bills are then issued to each owner. Property owners must adhere to defined guidelines to file an appeal and request a reassessment. Each county has a specified procedure that must be followed, and the steps can be confusing and time-consuming.

It is important to note that homeowners have the right to request a review of the property's valuation, but they may not request that the tax rate be adjusted for a specific property. The median tax rate for all Georgia counties is .83% of the property's assessed value, but that can vary widely from one county to another. The way assessments are determined also varies. In Cobb County, for example, property tax is assessed at 40% of fair market value, with an average tax bill of $1,665. Fulton County holds the distinction of collecting the highest property tax rate in the state, with an average levy of $2,733, or 1.08% of median home value. For purposes of comparison, the average property tax bill in DeKalb County is $1,977, and $1,950 in Gwinnett County.

Gwinnett and other counties use a complicated formula to calculate the tax. Taxpayers are allowed to protest the taxable value for a variety of reasons, including a simple assertion that the assessment is set too high and is not in line with other area homes. An appeal may be based on a combination of factors that commonly include a comparison of the values assigned to similar properties, a contention that a portion of the property is not actually taxable, or to take advantage of an authorized exemption. Some counties also allow owners to lock in a value for the succeeding two years, even though an adjustment might not be approved for the contested tax assessment.  

It can be financially worthwhile to seek professional advice if you feel your current tax bill is too high, or if the increase over last year's tax constitutes undue hardship. Choose a property tax consultant who is familiar not only with your county's procedures, but also with the current home values in your area, and don't hesitate to contact us for information about how to contest property taxes.




Topics: Appealing your Property Tax

property tax appeals

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