ATLANTA - If you own real estate in Georgia, the state requires that you pay a property tax. That tax bill is based on the value of your property on January 1 of the current year, but the local county may be wrong in their estimate of your property value, and that might cause your tax bill to be higher than it should be!
Here to help you lower that tax bill is real estate expert John Adams:
Question: John, is it too late to lower our property tax bill?
Adams: Only if your property is located in Gwinnett County. If your real estate is located almost anywhere else, you still have time to file an appeal.
Q: So, what does that mean, to file an appeal, and how do we do it??
A: Property tax bills in Georgia are based on the assessment the local county places on your property. That assessment is the value the county claims your property was worth on January 1, 2017.
The county is supposed to mail you a notice of assessment in May or June of each year. The bad news is that some counties are early and some counties are late, year after year. If you miss the deadline, you lose your chance to appeal.
Q: How can I find out about MY assessment and the deadline for my particular county??
A: Call the local county tax commissioner's office and ask.
Tell them you want to know the deadline for filing an appeal of the assessment for that particular county. That is the best way to find your county deadline.
A: You need to file an appeal if you believe your property was worth less than the county has estimated in their assessment for 2017. You are required to tell the county what YOU think your property was worth on January 1, and the county then will reconsider their position.
Q: And next?
A: If the county wants to disagree, they will prepare for a board of equalization hearing, but that’s likely 6 months from now.
You've got plenty of time to research your value, meet with your tax appraiser, and try to get your value lowered, if you want to.
Q: Where can we learn more about this process?
A: Go to money99.com
for a free special report on how to lower your property taxes in Georgia.