For Gwinnett commercial property owners, the stakes when it comes to property taxes are higher, especially when these represent a substantial percentage of their overall operations cost. Thus, the need to file a Gwinnett commercial property tax appeal on a yearly basis, if necessary, is emphasized!
But because the stakes are higher, commercial property owners are well-advised to learn, understand and document the appeal process. This is true even when you can afford to hire an experienced tax reduction consultant – in fact, you’re well-advised to hire one for higher chances at a winning appeal. You should, however, still adopt an active participant role in the appeal process because it’s your right and responsibility as a property owner and taxpayer.
Learn the Process
This is, without a doubt, the most important thing to do before you file a formal Gwinnett commercial property tax appeal. The appeal period is 45 days from the date stated on the annual notice of assessment so you have sufficient time to learn it. You can, for example, spend three hours during a weekend to learn the basics of the process – when to file, where to file, and how to file the papers, as well as your rights and responsibilities as a property owner and taxpayer.
Of course, your tax reduction consultant can answer your questions about the ins and outs of the appeal process. You can also discuss your strategy in beating the system, so to speak, while you’re at it.
Understand the Valuation Methodology
Just as you have to understand the financial statements of your business to understand its performance, you must also understand the valuation method used on your commercial property. Your tax reduction consultant will likely use the errors committed by the local tax assessors to win your appeal.
For commercial property, such as apartments, condos and hotels, the income approach is the most commonly used valuation method. The method has several flaws including the fact that every income-generating property will have its own income potential and performance. Your older property, for example, may have been assessed in a similar manner as the newer property around it, resulting in over-assessment.
Document the Process
Unlike many states, the State of Georgia puts the burden of proof on the local taxing authorities to defend its valuation method used and the resulting property value. But you, the property owner and taxpayer, still has the responsibility to provide persuasive supporting evidence for your proposed property value.
You must then prepare detailed documentation, which may include the property tax card photocopy and comparable sales data, among others. You may even present as evidence the interview made with an authorized representative of the Board of Assessors during the hearing.
The more organized your documentation, the more likely you can win the appeal. Your tax reduction consultant can keep the record on your behalf but you must take the time to read and understand them.
Let’s face it – to win a Gwinnett commercial property tax appeal, you will require professional help because of the time, energy and effort involved in the process. But even with a tax reduction consultant and his staff members handling the nitty-gritty details, you must still be an active participant. It’s your property, after all.
For a hassle-free Gwinnett commercial property tax appeal, let Fair Assessments, LLC do the work. Fair Assessments, LLC is a Georgia licensed appraiser with three decades property valuation, assessment and appeals experience.