property tax assessments and appeals committee meeting october 29 2009 n.
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Property Tax Assessments and Appeals Committee Meeting October 29, 2009. Ad Valorem Taxes Levied . Ad Valorem Taxes Levied in Georgia Counties and Cities. 5-Year Comparison of Property Tax Revenue. Property Tax Revenue by Type of Property. Property Tax.

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Property Tax Assessments and Appeals Committee Meeting October 29, 2009

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Presentation Transcript
property tax
Property Tax
  • Based on the principal that the amount of tax paid should depend on the value of the property owned
    • Property includes personal homes, commercial and industrial building, farms, land, motor vehicles, boats, airplanes, and business personal property such as furniture, fixtures, equipment and inventory
  • Property tax is an ad valorem tax
    • “according to value”
    • taxes are apportioned among taxpayers according to the value of their property
    • amount of tax bill is based on the fair market value of the property



what is the taxable value of property
What is the taxable value of property?
  • Board of Assessors determine fair market value of taxable real and personal property
    • Value established as of January 1
      • 48-5-5B sets value as of January 1, 2008 (unless specifically exempted)
    • Fair Market Value as defined by Georgia law is the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm’s length, bona fide sale.
      • Also consider:
        • Existing zoning
        • Existing use
        • Foreclosure sales, bank sales, other financial institution owned sales or distressed sales
        • Decreased value of property based on limitation and restrictions resulting from the property being in a conservation easement
role of the tax assessor
Role of the Tax Assessor
  • Locate & identify all taxable property (discovery)
  • Make an inventory of all taxable property, including quantify, quality & important characteristics
  • Classify each property & determine the extent of taxability
  • Estimate the market value of each taxable property (valuation)
  • Calculate the taxable value of each property (assessment ratio)
  • Prepare & certify the assessment roll of the jurisdiction (listing)
  • Notify owners of the taxable value of their properties
  • Defending value estimates & valuation methods during appeals
valuation process
Valuation Process
  • Mass appraisal
    • Systematic appraisal of groups of properties as of a given date using standardized procedures and statistical testing.
appeals process

Superior Court

board of tax assessors level
Board of Tax Assessors Level
  • Property owner is mailed a change of assessment notice
  • Property owner files written appeal within 45 days of dated notice (30 days in installment billing counties)
    • Taxpayer can appeal value, uniformity, denial of exemption, or taxability
    • Taxpayer must indicate preference for arbitration or binding arbitration at the time the appeal is filed
  • Appeal is reviewed by appraisal staff and board of tax assessors
  • Taxpayer is notified of the decision made and notifies property owner
    • Must be completed within 180 days in a non-revaluation year
  • If value is changed by board of assessors, the taxpayer is notified of the new value and must notify board within 21 days if they wish to continue with the appeal
  • If value is not changed by board of assessors, the appeal is automatically forwarded to board of equalization or arbitration
board of equalization boe
Board of Equalization (BOE)
  • Property owner is notified of hearing date
    • Have 15 days to set hearing date
    • Hearing cannot be less than 20 days or more than 30 days from date the taxpayer is notified
  • Property owner and/or authorized agent may appear to present case to BOE
  • Property owner is notified in writing of decision of BOE by registered or certified mail
  • Either party may file appeal to superior court
    • County cannot appeal if change in value is 15% or less unless notice is sent to the county governing authority of the intent to file the appeal. The county governing authority has 10 days to prohibit the appeal (by majority vote).
arbitration non binding
Arbitration (non-binding)
  • May be selected by the property owner in lieu of having the appeal decided by the board of equalization
    • Notice be given within 45 days of the date of the assessment change notice
  • Cost of arbitration is split between appellant and tax assessors
  • Decision can be appealed to superior court by either party
    • County cannot appeal if change in value is 15% or less unless notice is sent to the county governing authority of the intent to file the appeal. The county governing authority has 10 days to prohibit the appeal (by majority vote).
binding arbitration
Binding Arbitration
  • May be elected by the taxpayer in lieu of BOE or non-binding arbitration
    • The notice of appeal must be filed within the 45 (or 30) days from the date of mailing of the change of assessment notice.
  • Within 30 days of filing the notice of appeal to binding arbitration, the taxpayer must provide the board of assessors with a certified appraisal prepared by a qualified appraiser.
  • Within 30 days of receipt of the appraisal, the board of assessors may accept the appraised value and the value becomes final
binding arbitration1
Binding Arbitration
  • Within 30 days of rejecting the appraisal, the board of assessors must certify the appeal to the clerk of the superior court
  • Within 15 days of filing with the clerk, the judge shall issue an order authorizing the arbitration
  • Within 30 days of his/her appointment, the arbitrator shall schedule the arbitration hearing
  • Provision of binding arbitration may be waived at any time by written consent of both parties
  • Within 30 days of the date of the hearing, the arbitrator shall render a decision by choosing either the taxpayer’s value or the board of assessors’ value
  • The “loser” must pay the fess and costs of the arbitrator
  • The decision is not appealable to superior court
appeals to superior court
Appeals to Superior Court
  • A decision of the board of equalization or a decision from non-binding may be appealed to superior court
    • Appeal must be filed with the board of assessors within 30 days of the date of receipt of the decision of BOE or arbitrator
    • Must specifically state grounds
    • Appellant pays filing fee
  • BOA must certify notice of appeal with clerk of superior court along with any other documents specified by person filing appeal
  • Appeal becomes a de novo action
superior court
Superior Court
  • If the final value established is 80% or less of the valuation of the board of equalization on commercial property, or
  • 85% percent or less of the valuation set by the board of tax assessors on other property,
  • the taxpayer may recover costs of litigation and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in the action.
if tax bills are issued
If tax bills are issued
  • While the property is under appeal, the tax bill is based on 85% of the board of assessors value or the taxpayer’s return value, whichever is higher
determining millage rates

Total assessed value of all taxable property



Local Government




from sources other than the property tax

Budgeted revenue to be raised by property tax








9.457 mills








Determining Millage Rates
inform the taxpayers
Inform the Taxpayers
  • Publish a 5-Year History which includes the following: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-32)
      • Assessed value of all property
      • Millage rate proposed for current year and rate levied for previous years
      • Total tax for current & previous years
      • $ amount of increase/decrease & % of increase/decrease
      • When & where the meeting will be held to adopt the millage rate (date, time & place)
taxpayer bill of rights
Taxpayer Bill of Rights
  • “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” was passed in 1999 to prevent a “Back Door” tax increase
    • Changes in real property values on the digest are due to one of the following factors:
      • Values increased due to adding new construction, new parcels, etc.
      • Values are increased due to inflation (Revaluations)
    • Properties experiencing inflationary increases or reassessment do not require additional services but if the millage rate isn’t decreased to offset this growth the result is a “Back Door” tax increase.
advertising when millage rate exceeds rollback rate
Advertising when Millage Rate exceeds Rollback Rate
  • Issue press release announcing a tax increase
  • Advertise and hold 3 public hearings
    • One may coincide with budget hearing
    • One may coincide with meeting to set final millage rate that was advertised in the 5-Year history advertisement; and
    • One must start between 6 PM and 7 PM
    • 2 must be held at least 5 business days apart
    • If 2 are held on one day the 1st must be before noon and second begin between 6 PM and 7 PM
graphic timeline

Publish Ad for 1st & 2nd Hearings & 5 Yr History

Publish Ad for 3rd Hearing & Hold Hearings 1 & 2

Hold 3rd Hearing &

Set Millage


7 Days

7 Days

Graphic Timeline
calculation of tax bill for taxpayer a for commercial building and lot

Assessed Value




9.457 mills








Market Value



Assessment Level










Calculation of Tax Bill for Taxpayer Afor Commercial Building and Lot
calculation of tax bill for homeowner with homestead exemption
Calculation of Tax Bill for Homeowner with Homestead Exemption

Step 1: Determine Fair Market Value

Step 2: Multiply FMV x assessment level (40%)

Step 3: Subtract amount of Homestead Exemption for taxing jurisdiction

Step 4: Multiply millage rate for taxing jurisdiction by value from Step 3 (Net Assessed Value)

Step 5: Repeat Steps 1 – 4 for each tax type

walking through calculation of a tax bill
Walking through calculation of a tax bill

Fair Market Value = $200,000

40% Assessment = $ 80,000

State: 80,000 – 2,000 = 78,000 x .25 mills = 19.50

County: 80,000 – 2,000 = 78,000 x 10.00 mills = 780.00

School: 80,000 – 2,000 = 78,000 x 18.50 mills = 1,443.00

Total Tax Bill = $2,242.50

statewide homestead exemptions
Statewide Homestead Exemptions
  • State Homestead Exemption for county, state & school = $2,000 (1937)
  • School Exemption for Elderly = $10,000
    • Subject to age and income qualifications
  • County Exemption for Elderly = $4,000
    • Subject to age and income qualifications
  • Exemption from state tax for home and up to 10 acres
    • Homeowner must be 65 years of age or older
  • Disabled veterans and surviving spouse of war veteran killed in action = $50,000
  • Surviving spouse of firefighter or peace officer killed in action = total exemption
  • Floating exemption = the amount of reassessment of property after base year
homestead valuation freeze exemption
Homestead Valuation Freeze Exemption
  • A county exemption that increases only on personal home as your property is revalued by the Board of Assessors due to the market value.
  • The exemption may apply to only one portion of your tax bill (county and/or school)
  • Exemption will increase offset the revaluation amount after ‘base year’
  • Many refer to this exemption as a "tax freeze." Any improvements to your property generally do not fall under the “tax freeze.”
  • Local legislation may allow for an CPI or other inflationary increase to base value annually
other exemptions or preferential assessments
Other Exemptions or Preferential Assessments
  • Freeport Exemption
  • Preferential Agricultural Assessment
  • Conservation Use Assessment
    • Residential Transitional
    • Environmentally Sensitive
  • Brownfield
  • Rehabilitated or Landmark Historic
  • Forest Land Protection Act (Super CUVA)