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Old 02-10-2010, 09:12 PM
 
426 posts, read 1,292,595 times
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Has anyone filed a real estate property tax return? I have appealed assessments succesfully in the past, so I understand that process; but I am unfamiliar with this. Recently bought a house that appraised just at the purchase price, but the county appraises it far higher for tax purposes. My understanding is that since the county has not changed the home's appraised value in five or so years, I can not appeal the existing valuation. But I can file a real estate property tax return telling the county what I think it is worth and force them to either lower the appraised value or allow me to appeal the current appraised value through the regular appeals process. Is my interpretation of the law correct here? Has anyone done this? Any advice on what I should set my opinion of the value at? Should I go with the value according to my recent professional appraisal at time of purchase or some degree lower than that on the assumption that the county will come back with something higher than my opinion?
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:45 AM
 
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I would think that comps (recent sales) for your neighborhood would carry much more weight then an appraisal.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
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I filed an appeal in Cobb County and had my 2009 property tax reduced almost $1,000 due to the drop in the market value. Now, I did a lot of research on the Cobb Assessor's site and on comp sales in the area. You cannot submit an appeal and just say "someone told me my house is now worth $X" and expect to win. You have to provide solid market evidence to support the value you suggest. A recent apprasial helps, but you need comps as well.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:22 AM
 
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Thanks neil0311. I have appealed in Dekalb County before, so I definitely know that drill. I am more concerned about what I need to include with the real estate tax return paperwork. Are they looking for the comprehensive material that you would include with an actual appeal or do you just file the tax return and then appeal their decision with the more extensive paperwork through the normal appeals process? Anyone have experience with this?

Dekalb County gives virtually no information on this process (I don't think they want people to know). But this is from Gwinnett:

"The Board of Tax Assessor's Office will be adjusting the 2010 tax value on several thousand properties in Gwinnett County as assessors review the real estate sales and foreclosure data occurring in certain areas of the county. To make sure your property is included on the review list, you should file a Real Property Tax Return. The property tax return will allow you to declare your opinion of the value of your property.

If your value is not accepted, a Notice of Change in Assessment will be issued to you (scheduled mailing by mid April 2010). The notice allows you to appeal the value, which will result in a review process and possibly further into hearings.

The property tax return process begins with the timely filing of a Real Property Tax Return. You may visit the Tax Assessor's web page at www.gwinnett-assessor.com to print a partially completed form between January 1 and March 1, 2010. Complete and mail the Real Property Tax Return anytime between January 1 and March 1, 2010. If you are mailing your return, it must be postmarked by the USPS no later than March 1, 2010. Your completed return will not be accepted via email or fax - no exceptions."
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,862 posts, read 15,215,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumboula View Post
Thanks neil0311. I have appealed in Dekalb County before, so I definitely know that drill. I am more concerned about what I need to include with the real estate tax return paperwork. Are they looking for the comprehensive material that you would include with an actual appeal or do you just file the tax return and then appeal their decision with the more extensive paperwork through the normal appeals process? Anyone have experience with this?
I filed the one page return form, and then received an acknowledgment from the county telling me they would respond to my request. I then got a letter telling me that they had reviewed my case and had not adjusted the value. I had 21 days to file an appeal and did, in detail, with backup documentation showing other homes and their assessed values, along with recent sales and listings.

The county sent someone out to walk my property, and about 45 days later I got the notice of the change in my assessment. They reduced my assessed value by about $80K.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:16 PM
 
426 posts, read 1,292,595 times
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Perfect. Just what I needed to know. Thanks. (And I am impressed that your county sent someone to walk your property! When I appealled in Dekalb the hearing board basically rebuked the assessor because their comps were so off.)
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