If you own a home in Fulton County you should have recently received your annual notice of assessment and you are likely unhappy with the increase in appraised value. You are not the only one seeing a spike in your property tax assessment this year. Fulton County increased their property tax assessments drastically for many residents- a 25% median increase for county residents and an even higher 33% median increase for those in the city of Atlanta. The assessments actually happened last year, but there was such an uproar from homeowners that the county commissioners decided to freeze taxes for the 2017 bills at the 2016 rate. Now the higher rates are going into effect as they were supposed to last year.
Luckily, you do have the right to appeal to the Board of Equalization! Most property owners have nothing to lose by appealing because of a state law (Georgia Code 48-5-311(e)(9)) that prevents homeowners' assessments from being raised by the Board of Equalization as long as they have not appealed in the previous two years. For property owners covered by this law, the worst that will happen is that their appeal will be denied and the Assessor’s valuation will be confirmed.Best case, the Board of Equalization agrees with the homeowner and lowers the assessed value of their property, which reduces their tax bill. Either way, whatever the Board of Equalization decides, under another state law (Georgia Code 48-5-299(c)), the Board of Assessors is prohibited from raising your assessment for the next TWO years after the year of the appeal, unless you physically change your property in a way that makes it more valuable. With home values continuing to increase, this two year freeze is could be quite valuable, and worth going through the appeal process, regardless of the outcome.
In order to receive the freeze, you or a representative must attend the hearing with the Board of Equalization and present some kind of written evidence as to why you are appealing. If you are appealing based on value, you will need to provide comparables and if you are appealing based on uniformity you will need to provide proof that your neighbors' homes being assessed at lower values than yours.
You must appeal by July 6, 2018! I am happy to provide you with comparable proeprties or your neighbors' assessments for the hearing- call me anytime. Follow this link to file your appeal and good luck!: http://fultonassessor.org/property-appeals/