Property Tax Appeal Information

7.1.2015
Scott
Newsletter

Property Tax Appeal Information

I have heard from a number of constituents concerning property tax appraisals in DeKalb. If you believe your assessment is inaccurate, you have the right to appeal. This newsletter provides some tips for filing an appeal and I hope you find it helpful.

What form do I need to use?

There is no specific form that is required but DeKalb provides a form on its website and you can download the form by clicking here:
http://taxcommissioner.dekalbcountyga.gov/PropertyAppraisal/forms.html#
You should also include any supporting documents that help support your position.

You can also appeal online. If you view your property's tax information (http://taxcommissioner.dekalbcountyga.gov/PropertyAppraisal/realSearch.asp) you can click on a tab to appeal your appraisal.

Where can I find more information?

You can find information on DeKalb's website at http://taxcommissioner.dekalbcountyga.gov/PropertyAppraisal/appeal.html
and also here http://taxcommissioner.dekalbcountyga.gov/PropertyAppraisal/faq.html

You can also call the county at (404) 371-0841.

When is the appeal due?

The due date is on your notice and it is likely July 13, 2015. You must submit your appeal on time. If you choose to mail your appeal, your letter of appeal must be hand-delivered or POSTMARKED BY THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE by the Appeal Deadline (the date is on the Notice) to ensure acceptance as a timely appeal.

Late appeals will not be processed and DeKalb County does not accept appeals by email or fax.

Keep a copy of your appeal, any supporting documents that you submit, and any correspondence with the county. You will need these documents for your hearing.

What documents can I use in my appeal?

There are two primary bases for filing an appeal - fair market value and uniformity.

Fair market value is based on the 2014 calendar year so you need to find information documenting comparable homes that were sold during that time. You can look online at websites such as http://www.zillow.com/ or http://www.eppraisal.com/ and look for sales in 2014. In addition, I do not think it hurts to show recent sales in 2015 if they are lower than the assessed value of your home. This information will still be considered and it helps to show market conditions (because prices likely were not higher in 2014).

Uniformity is based on the assessed value per square foot for similar homes. To make this determination, divide the 100% assessed value by the total square footage (this information should be on your form and you can also find it by looking up your home at http://taxcommissioner.dekalbcountyga.gov/PropertyAppraisal/realSearch.asp) .

After you find the assessed value by total square footage for your home, you need to calculate them for your street and/or neighborhood. If your house is above the average, multiply the average by your house's square footage and request that amount as your 100% assessed value.

Which venue should I choose?

You can go before the Board of Equalization ("BoE"), a hearing officer, or before an arbitration panel. You should review the options and make the best choice for your situation.

A summary can be found here:
http://taxcommissioner.dekalbcountyga.gov/PropertyAppraisal/pdf/AppealProcessSummary.pdf

My sense is that most people choose the BoE.

What happens after I file my appeal?

The tax assessor will review your appeal and will contact you to let you know if they have decided to grant a reduction in value. They may send you a letter or call you. If they call you and make an offer to reduce the value and you accept, they will confirm the terms in writing.

If the tax assessor does not grant a reduction, you have the right to go before the Board of Equalization ("BoE"). If they grant a reduction, you can still choose to go before the Board of Equalization and here's why: a reduction granted by the tax assessor lasts for the current tax year whereas a reduction approved by the BoE lasts for 3 years (the current tax year and the following 2 years).

How should I prepare for the hearing?

You should see how the tax assessor views your appeal. You have the right to review the tax assessor's comparable properties and other documents before the hearing. You can either go to the assessor's office before the hearing or submit written request for this information. I highly recommend that you do this. It will help you prepare your presentation.
If you go before the BoE, you will likely present your case in a conference room. You should ask the tax assessor's representative to present first so you can respond to the points that are raised.

Be organized. Bring five copies of all of your appeal documents with you to the hearing. You will want to have copies for the three members of the BoE, one for
the tax assessor's representative, and one for you. You should think about how you want to present your case ahead of time and have the documents to support your position. You don't need a lawyer for this - just explain your position and have the documents to support it.

Didn't the General Assembly pass a property tax freeze? If so, why did my appraisal go up?

Yes, but it only covers county government taxes, not school and city taxes.

County taxes generally account for about one-third of your total property tax bill, which means that a jump in property value results in more taxes due.



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