Avoid Overpaying Property Taxes
By Viola Davis RN BSN
Suspect you’re overpaying property taxes and/or asking if you should appeal your property tax assessment? With the decline in prices and housing market, the answer is absolutely! To avoid overpaying your property taxes, you need to first make sure you do not miss the deadline to appeal your assessment which is fast approaching.
Homeowners and Property Owners recently received assessment notices from the County tax assessors. The deadline to appeal your property tax assessment in DeKalb County is July 13th. Your tax bills provide you with the assessed value of your property which today is a fraction of the true market value of your property.
With today’s rapidly changing market, you are likely overpaying on property taxes. This can be corrected by appealing the property tax assessment. The process is free (Board of Equalization) and can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year with almost no drawbacks. If you think your property is being over assessed, you need to take the following actions:
“Appeal your property tax assessment”
The process takes 8-12 calendar months to complete. While there are many ways that a Taxpayer can appeal their property taxes, the Fulton County Taxpayer Foundation (FCTF.org), a nonprofit organization which specialize in property tax appeals, and its colleagues feel that having appeals heard at the Board of Equalization allows for more negotiation. Out of all the cases the Foundation assists, 95% have resulted in a reduction, freezing the assessed value for three years (OCGA 48-5-299c). Remember, the deadline for DeKalb County property tax assessment appeals is July 13th.
Step 1: “Appeal your property tax assessment using the state-wide appeal form.”
During the summer months (April-June) of each year, each property owner will receive a Notice of Assessment. The Notice will include your current year’s value; the previous year’s value as well as the 40% assessed value. You have 45 days to alert the county of your intentions to appeal with a simple, state-wide appeal form. The state-wide appeal form can be found on the Foundation’s website at fctf.org, under ‘Forms’. The forms are also provided below:
- Statewide Appeal Assessment Form:
- Sample Statewide Appeal Assessment Form:
Step 2: “Will the Board of Assessors notify me?”
Yes, the Board of Assessors (BOA) will notify you a few months after you send in your state-wide appeal form. They may deny your appeal (most common) or offer you a new value. If a new value if offered, please contact the Fulton County Taxpayer Foundation office immediately to discuss the new value. If your appeal was denied, you do nothing. A Board of Equalization hearing date and time will be mailed to you three weeks before the actual hearing. The entire process takes approximately 8-14 months.
Step 3: “I received my hearing date, now what?”
Call, email or fax your hearing date information to the Fulton County Taxpayer Foundation office IMMEDIATELY. Please do not wait until a week before your hearing to make first contact. While the Foundation have handled many last minutes hearings successfully, they prefer to have as much time as possible to prepare for your case.
Fulton County Taxpayer Foundation website: www.fctf.org
For DeKalb County Appeals, you should mail or hand-deliver your appeal letter or form to the DeKalb County Property Appraisal Department at 120 West Trinity Place, Room 208, Decatur, Ga. 30030. Your DeKalb County appeal must be postmarked or hand-delivered no later than July 13th. Late appeals will not be processed. The department will not accept appeal forms that are emailed or faxed.
The DeKalb County Property Appraisal Department can be reached at (404) 371-2471 or (404) 371-0841.
Remember, the deadline for DeKalb County Property Tax Assessment Appeals is July 13th.
For more information, contact the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation (www.fctf.org) or Viola Davis at RNwhocares@gmail.com.