Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Appealing a property tax assessment

Got a rollback on a property tax assessment hike today.

County assessors went far afield to find 2013 comparable sales to justify a hike on a rental property I own.

But showed me two comps on the same street as my house. One was for $28,000 less than my new assessment, the other $11,000 less. I always use sites like Zillow to check comps for myself when I get a property assessment notice. I've found county assessors often overlook closer-in, more comparable sales in resetting property values.

Not a complete victory today, but the Board of Equalization (a property tax appeals board provided for under Georgia law) knocked seven-grand off this particular property's 2014 tax assessment.

The real payoff will likely come in the next couple of years.

Flippers are working the neighborhood, and some resale prices this year are getting back near 2006-07 "bubble" levels.  Because my assessment has been adjusted by a Board of Equalization, the board's revised assessment is locked in for three years.

Of course, there's a chance the economy and the housing market tanks again. But I believe Georgia law still allows me to appeal a locked-in assessment if prices on the street collapse.

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