The Atlanta Journal & Constitution has been running an excellent series of articles on property tax valuations in the various counties of the Atlanta metro area. The AJC's analysis shows that most residential properties in the Atlanta area have experienced declines in value with many areas posting double digit losses. However, the county tax commissioners have been unwilling or unable to adequately reassess the values of these properties and as a result most of us are paying tax bills that are based on unrealistically high values.
Very few people are aware that if a property tax valuation remains the same as the previous year's bill the owner must file a "Property Tax Return" with their tax assessor's office after January 1, 2010 (deadlines vary) in order the have the right to appeal their 2010 property tax assessment. These forms can be obtained from each of the metro county tax assessor's offices and we have provided links to the forms and/or instructions for various counties below. If your county is not included, you can search for the respective office online by using the search words: "_________ [insert the name of County] County Tax Assessor". Most sites include a section for "Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ's, which will include this information. Remember that this is simply a first and necessary step to appeal your taxes where there has not been an increase in assessment from the previous year; it is not the actual appeal.
Once the "Taxpayer's Return of Real Property" form (link to form provided) is filed, the appraisal staff will review your stated opinion of value to determine if any adjustments should be made. A tax return is not an appeal. If your opinion of value is not accepted, you will be sent a Change of Assessment Notice, indicating the county's current and prior year valuation. If you are not satisfied with this proposed value, you must then file a written appeal within 45 days of the date the Change of Assessment Notice was mailed. For further questions, call Cobb County Tax Assessor's office at 770-528-3100.
You must file a "Taxpayer's Return of Real Property" form (PT-50R return of value form) between January 1, 2010 - April 1, 2010. The form is not available online and can only be obtained by calling the Dekalb County Tax Assessor's office at 404-371-0841 and requesting the form after the first of the year.
If the county board of tax assessors disagrees with the taxpayer's return, the board must send an assessment notice which gives the taxpayer information on filing an appeal.
Taxpayers may challenge an assessment by the county board of tax assessors by appealing to the county board of equalization or to an arbitrator within 30 days from the date of the change of assessment notice that is mailed by the board of tax assessors.
After completing the top of the form (links provided), look for #3 to complete the "taxpayer assessment" or "TPA". This number is your opinion of the Fair Market Value. Note that the form must be mailed via certified mail and post-marked between 1/1/10 - 4/1/10. The return must be accompanied by a copy of your photo i.d. For further questions, call Fulton County Tax Assessor's office at 404-224-0102.
You must file a "Taxpayer's Return of Real Property" form between January 1, 2010 - March 1, 2010. The form is not available online and can only be obtained by calling Gwinnett County Tax Assessor's office at 770-822-7200 and requesting the form after the first of the year.
You can start the appeal process by completing and mailing or hand-delivering the "Taxpayer's Return of Real Property," to the Board of Assessors' Office at 75 Langley Dr., Lawrenceville, GA 30045. Once the "Taxpayer's Return of Real Property" form is filed, the appraisal staff will review your valuation to determine if any adjustments should be made. The "Taxpayer's Return of Real Property" form lists a summary of the information concerning property identification, ownership, mailing address and previous year's value. In the column headed "Current Year Taxpayer 100% Stated" you declare what you believe to be the fair market value of your property. A tax return is not an appeal. Upon the assessor's review of your property valuation, you will be sent notification of the results in April via an assessment notice. The assessment notice will indicate the county's current and prior year valuation. The assessment notice will give you a 30-day period in which you may file an appeal. Instructions for filing an appeal are in the assessment notice which will be sent to you in April.
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Beacon Realty of Georgia