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

Fulton County raises the millage rate by 17%

Walter Hotz, Esq. Appeals

Here are some excerpts from an article by Kristal Dixon on August 7, 2014 in the Roswell Patch.

Six Fulton County leaders have filed a lawsuit to stop the county from imposing a 17-percent property tax increase.  The commissioners voted 4-3 to raise the millage rate to 11.781 mills from 10.211 mills. The lawmakers believe the increase violates House Bill 604, which prohibits Fulton County from raising property taxes until January 2015.

”We regret having to take this action, but the Fulton County Commission voted to increase property taxes contrary to state law and property taxpayers’ best interests,” said Jan

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

A Little Known Law That Can Save You Thousands

Walter Hotz, Esq. Appeals

Changing real property values established by appeal in prior year (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-299 (c)) is probably the single provision in Georgia law that can save you the greatest number of dollars. The statute provides that any value that is established through a real property tax appeal will be frozen for the tax year appeal plus 2 more years. This is a tool that you should use in managing the amount of property taxes you pay.

You should use O.C.G.A. § 48-5-299 (c) regardless of whether your assessment is too high, about right or below market. If your assessment is too

Property Owners Almost Got the Rights They Deserve

Walter Hotz, Esq. Appeals

For this year’s legislative session, I was asked by a group of Georgia Senators to re-write the real property tax appeal laws for the state of Georgia for the purpose of providing safeguards and rights for Georgia real property owners. The present laws were heavily weighted in favor of the tax assessors (each county in Georgia) and the Senators wanted to “level the playing field” for property owners. I was honored to have been selected for the task and, although it took more than 100 hours of my time, I was glad to do it.

The present law had been