Founding Father Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying: “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
I guess he’s right for the most part, but our own Fox5 Real Estate Expert JOHN ADAMS responds by saying “Not so fast!”
When it comes to your 2017 Property Taxes, there’s still a way for you to appeal your assessment for this year, but the window for that process is closing fast.
So how much can you save and how do you do it?
Here with the answers is our own Fox5 Founding Father JOHN ADAMS.
Q: John, you’ve said before that if a viewer owns property in Georgia, they will be billed for property taxes each and every year? Has that changed?
A: The answer is NO. But it’s not too late to lower the tax bill:
Q: So what are we talking about here?
A: Georgia property tax is administered on a county-by-county basis, and we have 159 counties in Georgia. That means each county has a TAX COMMISSIONER, and that individual decides when to mail an annual NOTICE OF ASSESSMENT to each individual property owner in that county.
Q: What is IN this Notice of Assessment?
A: The NOA contains the county’s proposed VALUATION of YOUR PROPERTY as of January first, 2017. Unless you APPEAL that dollar amount, that number automatically become the value used for determining the amount of your property tax bill for all of 2017.
Q: That sounds easy. So when is the deadline? How much time does a homeowner have to file this appeal?
A: That’s the really confusing part.
The deadline for APPEALING an ASSESSMENT is exactly 45 days after the NOTICE OF ASSESSMENT was mailed by the County Tax Commissioner. And EACH County Tax Commissioner decides when he or she will mail to property owners.
Q: So how do we know when the deadline is for MY PARTICULAR COUNTY?
A: That’s an EXCELLENT QUESTION!
The 45 day countdown begins on the day that the COUNTY claims it mailed the Notice of Assessment to you, but there is no guarantee that you will actually RECEIVE that notice.
Whether you get it or not, the deadline is set in concrete at 45 days AFTER the MAILING of assessment notices has occurred. And the only way to know for sure what the deadline is for your particular county is to CALL THE COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONERS OFFICE.
Q: OK, so have we missed any deadlines yet?
A: NO. Gwinnett County is traditionally the first county in Georgia to mail their notices, and theirs went out on April 7th. Add 45 days to April 7th and you get May 22nd.
So if your property is in Gwinnett, you have until MIDNIGHT on Monday, May 22nd to file an APPEAL. And in may counties, including GWINNETT, you can file your appeal ONLINE instead of mailing. Just search on YOUR COUNTY and PROPERTY TAX APPEAL.
And Cobb mailed on May 4. Their deadline is June 19.
Q: What if I can’t find any information?
A: CALL your COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONER and tell them you want to file a PROPERTY TAX APPEAL. Make sure you STRICTLY adhere to your county deadline, because there are NO EXTENSIONS for any reason.
Q: Where can we find out more about this process?
A: During our Facebook Chat, I am offering a free copy of my free SPECIAL REPORT on GEORGIA PROPERTY TAX REDUCTION with all the forms, procedures and instructions.
THE BOTTOM LINE: only YOU are responsible for making sure you aren’t paying MORE than your fair share of property taxes, and only YOU can do something about it.
John Adams will be here for the next hour to answer all your real estate questions on our Fox5 Atlanta Facebook Page.
Atlanta native John Adams is a real estate broker, a property manager, an investor, and a lifelong entrepreneur. He invites your questions or comments at Money99.com, where you will find an expanded edition of this column and additional consumer resources.