Here you will find answers to your questions about the appeal process.
No. Unlike others who provide this type of service, our service is very personalized. We do not use generalized information to process your appeal. We focus on your particular property and its unique qualities and condition. Where others who provide this service can prepare 5 to 10 appeals in one hour, it takes us 4 to 6 hours to prepare one appeal. That is not because we are slower – it’s a difference of in-depth preparation.
You will fit into one of 4 scenarios. If you are in Scenarios 1, 2, or 3 I should file an appeal for you. If you are in Scenario 4, most likely, I should not. Here are the four scenarios:
Scenario One: Let’s assume that your assessment is too high – obviously you would want to appeal to try to lower the assessment.
Scenario Two: Let’s assume that your assessment is very low and you are thrilled with the assessment. In that case you would still want to appeal even though you have a great assessment. The way that we do an appeal for you results in the assessment that we achieve being frozen for three years – the year appealed plus two more years!! Therefore, if you had a great assessment, you can see the value of filing an appeal – we would not be trying to get the assessment lower – our only purpose would be to “freeze” that great assessment that you have for two additional years and keep the tax assessor from being able to raise your assessment during that period – there are ways you can lose the freeze you are given – for example, if you made an addition to your home – but, by far, most of the time, the freeze remains intact.
Scenario Three: In this example your assessment is about right and you are relatively comfortable with it – we should still appeal – for the same reasons as stated in Scenario Two – even if you feel your assessment is about right, the tax assessor is notorious for always trying to increase the assessment on a taxpayer’s home – especially as the economy begins to recover – by appealing, we can keep the tax assessor at bay for the next two years following the year we appeal – keeping the tax assessor away could save you thousands of dollars.
Scenario Four: This category is where you have already had an appeal and you are in the “frozen” period. In this scenario, we do not normally recommend appealing because appealing during the time your assessment is frozen unfreezes the freeze and you lose the protection that you had – there are some extraordinary circumstances that would warrant filing an appeal under this scenario – like something dramatically happening in your neighborhood that would detrimentally affect the value of your home – but such circumstances would be rare. Therefore, if you are in Scenario 4, we would recommend that you sit tight and enjoy the freeze.
We currently file appeals in the state of Georgia.
We take your appeal all the way through the Board of Equalization hearing, unless we are able to negotiate an earlier settlement.
Together we have decades of experience filing property tax appeals and getting great results. We are acquainted with the County personnel that will be involved in your appeal and we have successfully worked with them on numerous cases like yours – we have won tax appeals like yours at both the BOE level and in the Superior Court.
Yes. The notice of assessment is required by law to be sent to you no later than July 1st of each year.
Yes. Your initial appeal is to the Board of Tax Assessors. If they do not agree with your stated value, they can send you a counter offer (new assessment value) or they can forward your appeal to the Board of Equalization.
Hire us or follow the instructions on the notice of assessment that was sent to you by the County. Filing an appeal is not the hard part – successfully handling the appeal is where “difficulty” makes its first appearance.
Yes. You have 45 days from the date of the notice of assessment that was sent to you.
Yes. You can bring as many as you like to the BOE hearing, but they will only look at three – don’t ask us why, we think more is better – especially, if “more” would show a trend – but that’s just us – they only want to see three.
Yes. That is a legal requirement.
The sale date of each of your comparables should be in the year preceding the year of your appeal.
Common sense rules here – first try to get them from your neighborhood and if that is not available, then as close as you can – the closer the better – but be prepared – the BOA does not always play by common sense rules – they have often gone as far as 2 miles away from your property to find a sale that supports their “value” even if there were plenty of lower value comparables that could have been taken from your neighborhood.
Yes. You have a statutory right to appeal to the Superior Court. We can file that appeal for you and represent you before the Superior Court but that exceeds our responsibility under an engagement we may have had with you for an administrative appeal. A separate engagement letter is necessary for us to represent you in the Superior Court.
Yes. Our fee is the same.
When you hire us, YOU ARE DONE! We handle the preparation, hearing, everything… you just need to sit back and relax!
You are not required to bring a professional appraiser with you to the BOE hearing; however, the County will have a professional, licensed appraiser there to represent the County’s position against you.
No. You are not required to have an appraisal prepared by a professional appraiser but the County will have, at the BOE hearing, three professionally prepared appraisals to be used against you.
Each Board of Equalization has three members (judges) that hear your appeal and make a decision as to the value of your property.