There are numerous government officials out there who most people will never need to deal with. However, others have a huge effect on the daily lives of those in the area. One of those officials is your local Fulton County tax assessor. This person has an effect on every commercial property owner and homeowners in Fulton County. This is why it’s so important to be aware of what this person does and how it affects you.
What the Fulton County Tax Assessor Does
When you think of the term “tax assessor,” you might immediately assume this person is the individual who charges you taxes and then makes sure you send in the money. However, that isn’t actually what is in the job description. Tax assessors instead are in charge of sending out appraisers who will determine that value of your home or business. That information is then used to decide what your property taxes are going to be.
The Fulton County tax assessor will also keep a file about your property with details about the square footage, number of bathrooms, and other important information. It will also list any improvements you may have made that will chance the value of your home or business.
How the Fulton County Tax Assessor Determines the Value of Your Property
The value of your property is expected to be the fair market value for that property. This is based on knowledge of what the property could be sold for in a realistic situation. Essentially, this relates to the amount that a buyer and seller would easily agree on without other persuasion.
There are numerous ways that the fair market value of the property can be determined. The first option is the sales comparison approach which looks at other properties similar to yours and what they were sold for. That means properties with t he same number of bathrooms, the same number of bedrooms, similar square footage, and similar lot sizes. In some cases only sales from the past year while other times they may go further back if appropriate properties haven’t been sold and bought.
Another option is the income approach valuation. This is used to determine the value of the property by looking at how much income it generates and is typically used for properties that are rentals. The net operating income of the rent collected is divided by the capitalization rate to determine the appraisal value. Other factors such as how much the property would sell for may also be considered.
The final way your Fulton County tax assessor may determine the value of your property is the cost approach. This approach looks at how much it would cost if it were to be rebuilt right now. The market price is typically the cost of land and cost of constructing the building minus depreciation. There are actually two approaches that can be used here. The reproduction method considers an exact replica of the property being built using the materials originally used. On the other hand, the replacement method looks more broadly at a similar structure made with new construction methods and materials.
How a Fulton County Tax Assessor Does Their Job
Every few years, often around three, an assessor is tasked with estimating the value of all real property (excluding charities, schools, and churches) that is in Fulton County. Real property is considered land as well as any building or structures on the land. Everything from an apartment complex to a home or a vacant lot has a value which is based on the current state of real estate.
You might wonder what a Fulton County tax assessor does when not assessing properties. In many cases, their job involves looking for properties that were overlooked and then seeking out the owners before making contact with them. They also create new value assessments for construction that happens and determine whether a property needs to be reassessed when a piece of property changes hands.
All of the property values go into an assessment roll, which is a fancy name for a list of the values of all the real property found within a county or other location.
What to Do If a Fulton County Tax Assessor Makes a Mistake
Just like any other government employee, it’s possible for the Fulton County tax assessor to make a mistake with your property. There are guidelines in place but as with any guideline where a person is in charge, something sometimes may go wrong. No matter what career a person is in, making mistakes it something that makes us human.
That said, the way properties are assessed for value is very clear and works to prevent errors. That doesn’t mean they never occur. Because there is the possibility of an error which might make your tax bill higher, there is an appeal process if you believe the assessed value of your property is incorrect.
How to Make an Appeal with the Fulton County Tax Assessor
If you get your property assessment and believe that the value is more than it should have been, at that point you are allowed to appeal it. You have a limited amount of time to do so, which makes it that much more important to get started as soon as you possibly can. Your appeal needs to be in writing and you are allowed to specify whether the appeal be heard by a hearing officer, the Boards of Equalization, or in non-binding arbitration.
The appeal will then be reviewed and a decision will be made and communicated to you. You can choose to accept the decision provided to you or reject it. If you reject it, the case will be heard by the Fulton County Superior Court.
What to Do Next
If you have questions about your potential to appeal through the Fulton County tax assessor, the experts at Fair Assessments, LLC are here to help. You can email us or call use to schedule a consultation and have your case reviewed to determine what your next steps should be.