Three and a Half Ways to File an Appeal

Walter Hotz, Esq. Appeals

Basically there are three ways to file your appeal. There is a fourth way and I will mention it in a moment, but 99.9% of all appeals are filed in the first three ways that I will discuss.

First Way: The first way, and the way that 99% of all appeals are filed, is to file your appeal to the Board of Equalization. The Board of Equalization is comprised of three board members. The members are ordinary citizens appointed by the grand jury. There is no cost to file an appeal to the Board of Equalization.

Second Way: The second way to file an appeal is to have the appeal heard by a Hearing Officer. To qualify to be before a Hearing Officer, the property must be assessed at $1 million or more. Like filing an appeal to the Board of Equalization, there’s no cost to appeal to a Hearing Officer. Depending on the type of property being appealed, the Hearing Officer will be either a Certified Residential appraiser or a Certified General appraiser – both being licensed and so classified by Georgia Real Estate Commission and the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board.

Third Way: The third way to file an appeal is to an Arbitrator. Unlike the first two ways to appeal, there are fees involved and you must also have a certified appraisal done on your property.

Appeals to the Board of Equalization and appeals heard by a Hearing Officer are directly appealable, as a matter of right, to the Superior Court. However, the decision by an Arbitrator is final.

Fourth Way: The fourth way to file an appeal is to file the appeal directly to the Superior Court and bypass the administrative appeal process. This requires the written agreement of the Board of Tax Assessors. If the Board of Tax Assessors will not agree, then you must go through the administrative appeal process first before going to the Superior Court.