In Fulton County, property tax assessments are sent out to property owners each year. These assessments will list the actual value and assessed value of your property, as well as the tax rate and amount of taxes due on the property for the year. Some assessments will list taxes in half-year increments, while others will only have a full-year total. Either way, there should be clear, concise information on your tax assessment that helps you understand exactly what you should pay.
Since this is just an assessment and not a full appraisal, there will be limited information on the data collected and information used to determine property values in your area. Fulton County uses a mass appraisal system, much like most municipalities, which can often result in overlooked errors or omissions when calculating taxes for property owners. This isn’t necessarily the assessor’s fault, because they are given specific data and parameters to work within and may not have all of the information that they need for an accurate assessment.
Fortunately, your Fulton County tax assessor is also more than willing to allow you to appeal your property tax assessment if you feel that the taxes are wrong or other information is missing or incorrect. They understand that the system is not perfect, but due to the volume of real estate, it’s the most effective solution for valuing properties and determining tax amounts.
Any property owner who feels that their assessment is wrong or needs to be reevaluated for any reason can file an appeal with the county. They are fairly helpful in providing information and offering insight on the appeals process, but they’re also really busy and don’t necessarily have your best interests at the forefront of their minds. That’s why you need to enlist the assistance of a professional valuation expert when you are filing an appeal on your tax assessment in Fulton County.
Why Should I Appeal My Assessment?
Some people feel that their property tax valuation is fair enough and aren’t certain that they need to file an appeal. However, the mass appraisal process is highly unreliable and there is often more room for adjustment than most people realize. Also, when you do file and win your appeal, your taxes will be set in a formal hearing. That automatically puts a cap on the taxable value of your property for three years. Even if you think your tax estimate is relatively accurate, you should still consider an appeal if you want to save money on your property taxes or make sure that you’re not overpaying.
Don’t Appeals Look Bad to the County?
No. As part of the tax assessment process, all property owners have the right to appeal their assessment for any reason whatsoever. The Fulton County tax assessor and related staff understand that the process isn’t perfect and they don’t hold anything against property owners who file appeals.
Reasons You Need a Valuation Expert on Your Side
Professional valuation experts are well-versed in real estate. Many are even originally from the county tax offices or other related departments and boards and have years of experience in dealing with tax appraisals and property valuations. They deal with this on a daily basis, so naturally they have the best methods, connections, and success rates when it comes to appealing a property tax assessment.
An expert will also be able to nit-pick all the details of your assessment and appraisal to see what information was used and whether the correct information has been provided. Real property records and appraisals can be confusing to the average person because most information is kept in industry lingo. Plus, anything to do with taxes has a tendency to be intimidating to people for the simple fact that it is such a complex and stressful topic in general.
Owners are welcome to represent themselves in this process, but it isn’t the best choice since their information or experience in tax assessments and property valuation may be limited. Other real estate professionals, such as property managers or brokers, may have the data available regarding the real estate market, but again they don’t have the experience in tax valuation. CPAs may be familiar with the process, but they won’t have data or the specific expertise with tax assessment appeals.
So, despite the fact that there might seem to be multiple options for representation when filing a property tax assessment appeal, the fact of the matter is that there is really only one good choice: hiring an experienced tax appeal consultant or property valuation expert. Here’s a quick review of why:
● Valuation experts have access to all of the market data and property data that is used by tax assessors and they understand how to interpret and use it.
● These experts also have experience in all kinds of real property assessments, from residential buildings to commercial property and income property valuation.
● Property tax professionals know the laws and have often served on local or county tax boards or other professional panels involving property tax or real estate within the area where they practice.
● Valuation experts are current on real estate valuation trends and methods, the appeal process and necessary procedures, and property tax laws within their area of operation.
Every property owner has the right to appeal their tax assessment. That doesn’t guarantee that the outcome will be what you desire, of course, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. Whether your taxes are outright wrong or you just feel like maybe they could be a little lower, contact a professional to discuss your options as soon as possible. You have a limited window (usually 45 days) for filing an appeal once assessments are mailed, so you’ll want to get started right away.
Fair-assessments.com has a team of expert valuation professionals that have spent years working in tax assessment-related roles. We understand the best practices for filing assessment appeals and have helped countless clients reduce their tax bills significantly over the years. Call us today to discuss your tax bill and see if our services can help you.