How to appeal property tax in Georgia



Taxes? But only on fair market value

The saying goes, «Death and Taxes are the only two certainties of life.» Both are inevitable, but with both there are things that can be done to ease the situation. This guide will be talking about easing the tax bill for property tax in the state of Georgia. All states in the U.S. have similar procedures, but may vary some.

The appeal period in most Georgia counties is between January 1 to April 1. In counties that bill more than once a year, the appeal period is between January 1 to March 1. If you are doing the appeal in 2010, the taxes you are appealing are for 2009. Dates, and all data to prove your case need to be from 2009.

Taxes are essential for operating our local governments, and often for nice amenities. But taxes are suppose to be based on «fair market value». If because the «fair market value» has decreased in your community, but the taxes are still based on old higher values, you need to ask for this adjustment. Tax officials in most cases will not just give you a adjustment, unless of course, the «fair market value» goes up.


Instructions

Step 1

Determine filing deadline

Determine your filing deadline. In Georgia the general rule is if you are billed once a year for property taxes, your deadline is April 1. If you are billed more than once, your deadline is March 1. To be sure, you can check online with your county tax assessor, or call the tax assessor’s office.

Step 2

Use the right form

For most of Georgia the form that should be used is the PT-50. This can be found at the Georgia Department of Revenue site. Click here. Cobb county, Ga. has their own form which can be found at the Cobb County Tax Assessors site. Click here. Check to see if your county uses the state form, or a form just for their county.

Step 3

Filling out the form

This form is a very easy one to fill out. It is not capable of being sent online. So type in the information and print, or print and hand write the information. Now follow along with the points below and the illustration above.

  • Date at the top for tax year should be for the previous calendar year.
  • Property identification will be found on the tax assessor’s website if you don’t have the tax bill handy. In some cases, a call to the county tax assessor, or going into the office will be necessary to get the information.
  • Describing property. It is important to show that it is residential, owner occupied, and if you are in a PUD, which stands for Planned Unit Development. This is the case for subdivisions.
  • Why you are appealing. In this case a square feet discrepancy, and decrease in fair market value. Show the 100% fair market value listed on the tax roll. Then state the 100% fair market value you as the taxpayer feel is correct.
  • Sign, and date with the current date.
• See a larger view of this form below.
By law this is all you have to file to create a review of the property value being mentioned. But, following are a few additional things to include to get attention to the need.
Step 4

Additional Step

Make a summary page using charts and pictures, and summarize with a paragraph,and attach to the PT-50. Make it simple, and easy to see at a glance, why you feel your property should have a lower assessed value, and thus lower tax.

See a larger view of this attachment below.

PT-50
Attachment

Things Needed
• The correct form.
• Your measurement of finished square feet of your home. Basements are not included in square feet measurements.
• Access to home sales. (MLS, Zillow, AJC) to show lower home values.
• Research on a same model home valued higher before, and lower now.

Tips & Warnings
• By law in Georgia you are suppose to file the PT-50 every year. If you don’t they just assume you agree your property tax assessment is correct.
• 40% of county tax records are incorrect. Square footage calculations, and number of bedrooms is the most common.
• 60% of properties are over-assessed.
• Save your findings in a file at home, but keep your initial paper you turn in to a maximum 2 pages.
• Use your detailed findings to present to tax assessor who comes to re-assess your property, or to present to an appeal board.
• A formal appraisal is too expensive for the money saved on a re-evaluation for most homeowners. Use a BPO instead. See the link below to do yourself.
• Another important thing for Georgians to check, is if FEMA has now included your property in a flood zone, due to recent floods. This will also lower your values.
• This is a brief guide which is appropriate for most homeowners. See more links below for more in depth information.
• This is not legal information, or from a tax specialist. Seek legal or professional tax advise if you are in doubt.

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Comment: 2
  •  
    Persall  06.01.2016 10:52

    The author of this «How to guide», got their tax assessment lowered. It was lowered about 15%.

  •  
    Louth  29.04.2016 19:00

    The author of this «How to guide», got their tax assessment lowered. It was lowered about 15%.


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