Sweeping Changes in 2015 Property Tax Statutes Will Effect You

Walter Hotz, Esq. Appeals

2015 – Sweeping changes made in the real property tax appeal statutes in this year’s legislative session – the changes will materially affect you.

I work closely with the Georgia Senate Finance Committee as an expert on property tax appeal laws – the Finance Committee is the committee in the Senate that originates bills dealing with property tax appeals and reviews any bills regarding property tax appeals that originate in the House. This year’s legislative session has just ended and it was exciting time for all property owners in Georgia. This year the massive re-write originated out of the House – HB 202 – it re-wrote all of all of the important statutes dealing with property tax appeals. The changes will materially affect how you manage your property taxes and your property tax appeals.

The property tax laws and the property tax appeal laws were (in a lot of instances) outdated and needed revising – such “revising” was done this year. Some portions of the old law were totally discarded – and replaced with entirely new concepts and many others were seriously overhauled.

When HB 202 first reached the Senate Finance Committee, it was 53 pages long and was in relatively small print. I was asked to prepare a review of the bill for the Senate Finance Committee advising them of the most significant provisions and comparing them to the existing law – along with my recommendations for amending certain provisions of HB 202 and my recommendation for adding several amendments on subjects that HB 202 did not address – my undertaking took approximately 60 hours of my time – to say it was involved and complex would be an understatement. HB 202 touched every aspect of property tax appeals.

Bottom Line: the changes made by HB 202 are sweeping in nature and will materially affect all property owners from homeowners to commercial enterprises. I am very anxious to write a series of articles on the changes made by HB 202 – the changes will have to be reported in multiple articles due to the number of material changes that I will address. I will advise you of the changes and how each change will affect you – viewed pragmatically and in real life terms.

I would start telling you now of the changes but I will wait until HB 202 is officially the law of the land – meaning after the Governor signs – stay tuned – hopefully you will see articles from me on HB 202 in the next few weeks.