When your property tax bill comes along, you might find yourself with sticker shock. Is that really what they expect you to pay? Could your property really be worth the assessed amount—or has the value dropped in recent years or months?
If your property tax bill seems high, don’t pay it just yet. You should appeal your property taxes in Georgia—it can save you a significant amount of money. Here’s what to do:
- Get out the assessment letter: You should have received an assessment letter from your local government, which lists your property’s lot size, legal description and assessed value. Your property tax is calculated by using the assessed value multiplied by the tax rate, which varies by location. If the assessed value seems too high, you are invited to challenge the assessment. This usually comes with a 30-day time limit, so act quickly.
- Decide whether you want to pursue an appeal: If the value of your property isn’t much less than the assessed value, you might not want to pursue a time-consuming appeal. Sometimes the amount is so negligible that the time spent is worth more than the savings you’ll receive. If, however, property values have dropped drastically in your area and/or your property tax rate is 4 percent or more, it can be well worth your while to appeal.
- Verify all the information in the assessment: If the assessment is incorrect—for example, the square footage is wrong or the characteristics of the building are misrepresented—it will be easy to challenge the assessed value. After all, if they assessed the value based on incorrect information, the value will be wrong, too.
- Find comparable properties: Next, you’ll need to do some research about comparable properties and their assessed values. You can do this yourself, but many people choose to work with appraisers or real estate agents to expedite the process. If the assessed value of the comparable properties is much less than yours, you’ll have a compelling argument to challenge your assessment.
- Follow the review and appeals process: After you have your research, call the assessor’s office and follow the review process procedures. Alternatively, you can hire a professional like Property Tax Eagle of Georgia, LLC to handle the review and appeals for you—this is often the best option for busy commercial property owners.
- Appeal if necessary: After your case has been reviewed, you can appeal if you don’t like the assessor’s decision. Keep in mind that you could actually end up paying more in property taxes if they find that your property is worth more, and the challenge could take as long as a year.
If your property taxes are too high, let the team at Property Tax Eagle of Georgia, LLC help you get them lowered. Our commercial property tax mediation company can tailor our approach to your individual needs, getting you a more manageable tax rate. For more information about why you should appeal your Georgia property taxes, call today to get started.