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Old 02-03-2010, 11:52 AM
 
2 posts, read 15,580 times
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I bought a home on the west side, inside 285, about a year and a half ago. The purchase price was $57,000.00. The appraised value for the home is $186,500. I appealed this and I was just notified that it has been lowered to $146,500. This is still 250% of the purchase price!

I am wondering if I should keep appealing, and if I do and I lose, will I lose this lower assessment as well?

Also, for documentary evidence I have the original purchase contract and papers, an appraisal from the bank stating that the home needs "new floors, ceilings, walls, doors..." etc, and lots of photos of the state of the home's many needed repairs. I don't have any comps, and I don't know how to get them.

Do I have a case, should I go forward?
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:41 PM
 
2,683 posts, read 5,320,365 times
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Easy to get comps. Just look at recent sales in the area ( You could even start by searching Zillow). I would imagine comps carry much more weight then appraisals.

I hate how the county continues to do this when it is obvious the values have changed. Of course if they were forced to re-evaluate all properties to the proper level there would have to be a tax increase to keep the county operating.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:05 PM
 
2 posts, read 15,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah View Post
Easy to get comps. Just look at recent sales in the area ( You could even start by searching Zillow). I would imagine comps carry much more weight then appraisals.

I hate how the county continues to do this when it is obvious the values have changed. Of course if they were forced to re-evaluate all properties to the proper level there would have to be a tax increase to keep the county operating.

But do the comps carry more weight than the sales price of my own home? I bought it from a realty company, not under the table or from a friend. And when the appraised value is still almost 3 times the sales price, I feel like there is still a ways to go for it to be fair, but I could be wrong.

Also, if I challenge and lose, is their previous reduction rescinded or does it stand?
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:48 PM
 
200 posts, read 909,448 times
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I don't live in Fulton County, but I Googled your question and some site said the following for Fulton County (however, can't vouch for the accuracy of information):

***********************************

1) When you get Change of Assessment Notice, file your written appeal on uniformity or value within 45 days.

2) Choose whether you want arbitration or binding arbitration instead of an appeal to the Board of Equalization (the BOE).

3) You will need to conduct extensive research into comparable sales of similar homes in your neighborhood. You may want to get a certified appraisal of your property but this will cost around $300.00. Comparable sales win the battle every time!

4) The Board of Assessors will assign a staff appraiser to go over your appeal and will make a recommendation to the BOA.

5) You will get a written decision on your appeal and you may accept or reject the decision. If you want to accept the new value, you have 21 days or the appeal will go to the BOE or arbitration.

6) If the appraiser for the County does not change their mind, then the appeal goes to the BOE or arbitration, depending on what you chose.

7) The BOE will notify you of a hearing and you or your agent may appear to present your case to the three member panel.

8) After the hearing, the BOE will tell you what they decided.

9) If that decision still is not in your favor, then you can appeal to the Superior Court of Fulton County within thirty days of the BOE decision. At this point you basically have to have a lawyer because the Superior Court Judge is going to enforce the rules of evidence on getting comparable sales data in so just be prepared.

Arbitration in Fulton County, GeorgiaAn alternative to the BOE process is Arbitration. The arbitration fee is split between you and the Board of Assessors.

Binding Arbitration in Fulton County, Georgia
Binding arbitration is scarier because it is....binding. As in whatever they say goes. If you chose binding arbitration, you must provide a certified appraisal within thirty days of filing the notice of appeal. Then the Fulton Board of Assessors has thirty days after receiving your certified appraisal to accept your appraisal value or to appeal to the Clerk of Superior Court.

Fifteen days later, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge will order arbitration and within another thirty days, the arbitrator will set a hearing date. There you will present your evidence of comparable sales and around thirty days after that, the arbitrator will decide which of you is correct. Here is the zinger, this is a loser pays system so if you lose, you have to pay the arbitrator's fee. If the City of Atlanta loses, then they pay.

The Appeal to Fulton County Superior Court
You are going to need a lawyer in Superior Court. The appeal is a jury trial and they will decide if you are right or if the County is. The appeal has to be filed with the Board of Assessors and you pay the filing fee.

Evidence
You can get a copy of the Document the Assessor prepared to review your property value in person from the Assessors' office or by mail. To get it in the mail, send a SASE to Fulton County Board of Assessors, Suite 1056,141 Pryor Street, S. W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3445.

Pull up your property description from the County website.

You can also got to the North Fulton Service center and read the Street Index and Sales Books to look for comparable sales.

Finally you should get a certified appraisal.

You will look awfully dumb if you applied for a re-fi last year and told the mortgage company the property was worth $400,000.00 and now you want to argue to a jury that it is worth $300,000.00.

Tax Appeal:
If you want help in filing your appeal, contact the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation, a non-profit group with pretty reasonable rates
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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yes ,keep fighting...
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:02 AM
 
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We went through the process two years ago. Sometime when I have spare time I will go through all of my notes and write up all of the steps, but for starters, here are some of the things that I remember:

1. Comps are VERY important. You can easily get these from the Fulton County Tax Assessor's website: www.fultonassessor.org Choose "property records", then "address". Type in your address. Then choose "map" from the choices on the left. Once you see a map of your property, you will see the parcel ID numbers of all of your neighbors (potential comps). Then all you have to do is look up each of those properties. The information that you are looking for (sales, appraised values...) is located under the "sales" tab on the left.

2. We went through mediation after appealing to the BOE and NOT succeeding at that level. We were told that no one ever has their decision overturned at the BOE level so be prepared to carry on.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:40 PM
 
650 posts, read 1,349,965 times
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same here... im waiting for court appeal.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:10 AM
 
650 posts, read 1,349,965 times
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i won, anyone else?
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetreelover View Post
We went through the process two years ago. Sometime when I have spare time I will go through all of my notes and write up all of the steps, but for starters, here are some of the things that I remember:

1. Comps are VERY important. You can easily get these from the Fulton County Tax Assessor's website: [URL="http://www.fultonassessor.org"]www.fultonassessor.org[/URL] Choose "property records", then "address". Type in your address. Then choose "map" from the choices on the left. Once you see a map of your property, you will see the parcel ID numbers of all of your neighbors (potential comps). Then all you have to do is look up each of those properties. The information that you are looking for (sales, appraised values...) is located under the "sales" tab on the left.

2. We went through mediation after appealing to the BOE and NOT succeeding at that level. We were told that no one ever has their decision overturned at the BOE level so be prepared to carry on.
I won as well and it happened in the BOE, and my new assessment is 60% of what the original was. I will now receive a refund from the already reduced amount I paid due to having the appeal process in the works. In 2008, I paid about $2,000. This year it will be at about $1,000. The savings may not seem like much, but it's $1,000 more in my pocket than I had yesterday.

Additionally, all three of the board members told me that I did a really good job and that they were impressed. The person who represented the county actually agreed with my own assessment and didn't offer a counter offer!! Here is what I did:

Before the hearing:

1.) I wrote a letter to the board themselves which I included in my documents - this didn't really matter because they were primarily concerned with the evidence. However, from a presentation standpoint it looked good.

2.) I had all my documents grouped according to relevance and also in the order in which I spoke to them. My story and the flow of information was very logical and spoke to numbers. Everything was very neat and orderly.

3.) I prepared: comps from 07 (the highest point of the real estate market) through 10 (the tax year) to show the consistent decline in property values. I had 3 comps per year in my favor and also had a document that showed how my property was equivalent to those comps. In my building there are many units, so it was easy. I got the comps from a real estate agent - I didn't use the fulton assessors site because I figured it only represented the high values, and not the real selling prices. I cannot stress enough how important comps are. This is what they will use to assess value. Although they are concerned with the tax year at hand (prop values in 2009), showing a trend in how everyone is getting walloped helped my case.
-the rep for the county only had one piece of evidence and that was an assessment for 2010, which wasn't even the year in question. The board was not impressed at all.

4.) I wore a suit and overcoat and had a soft briefcase portfolio with each of the four sets of documents in separate folders to hand out. Laugh if you will, but it definitely gave a better impression that jeans or even slacks.

Hopefully this will help you. Keep in mind that the people doing the hearings are just regular folks. I was nervous, but I felt my case was strong. Additionally, I think I had a sympathetic ear in one of the panel members, which I feel helped me greatly - and it was all due to his impression of my presentation. Please remember - comps and presentation will help you tremendously because it separates you from all the other folks they have seen. You'd be surprised how many people come in with jeans and their opinion. Good luck!

P.S. -- do you think I should apply to Harvard Law now? :-)

Last edited by avaris; 02-16-2011 at 10:44 AM..
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:56 AM
 
155 posts, read 126,745 times
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And how would the county know if or when you refinanced or what the appraisal is since that is a private appraisal that the homeowner pays for?




You will look awfully dumb if you applied for a re-fi last year and told the mortgage company the property was worth $400,000.00 and now you want to argue to a jury that it is worth $300,000.00.
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