To appeal, or not to appeal?

When we appealed our tax assessment earlier this year, I didn’t expect much of an adjustment. However, our property taxes were decreased 15% thanks to that initial appeal.

Since what the county assessed is still higher than what we believe our property is actually worth based on neighborhood foreclosures and sales, we’re going to continue appealing and see what happens. You can estimate what your tax bill will cost on the county Web site.

If you haven’t already taken steps to continue the appeal, here are your choices:

-Go to the Tax Assessor’s Office (in the Old Courthouse on the second floor – (770) 477-3285; 8 AM to 5 PM) and talk with an appraiser in person to negotiate a lower rate. If you come to an agreement, you will fill out a Value Agreement Form and be locked into that rate for the next three years; or:

-Write a letter to the Clayton County Board of Assessors (P.K. Dixon Annex 2, 121 South McDonough Street, Jonesboro, 30236-3694) stating your desire to appeal, and include the property description number, address and a daytime telephone number. The letter must be hand delivered or postmarked on or before June 8.

-If you write a letter or can’t come to a consensus with an appraiser, a date will be set for you to go before the Board of Equalization. The three-person committee, appointed by the Superior Court, will then make a final decision.

According to the AJC, Clayton has reduced property taxes more than any other county in metro Atlanta. That is a good thing since most property owners didn’t believe taxes should’ve been raised anyway given county events over the past few years. But on the flip side, I worry about losing county services since many agencies have already said they are understaffed and insufficiently funded.

Did you appeal your property taxes? If so, did they lower your assessment? Are you satisfied with the adjustment, or will you appeal again?

No matter how you decide to carry out your appeal, the last day to do so is Monday, June 8.

36 comments Add your comment

Clayton Resident

June 1st, 2009
10:38 am

I’m gonna keep on fighting, they did knock off about 19,000 but they can do better and they know it.


June 1st, 2009
11:39 am

Let’s keep fighting reduced tax and see how far down the schools will go. We will be back in the same boat as before. If your property tax is reduced more then the schools will receive less. Where does it stop. We are trying to educate children but we don’t want to pay for it. where are our priorities?


June 1st, 2009
11:41 am

No taxes no schools simple math.

Catastrophic Error

June 1st, 2009
1:10 pm

These taxes are abysmal! The Chamber and the Rich should’ve thought about the aftermath when they ran to the school’s accrediting authority to take accreditation to spike the old final four BOE members. That along with W. Bush national economical breakdown, mortgage meltdown, outsourcing jobs overseas and Clayton’s Daily Media Bashing placed the county in dire straits. Now, you are crying about the results. You deserve the results!


June 1st, 2009
1:38 pm

I can educate my children at home far better than what Clayton County has to offer. Why should I pay inflated taxes for a school system at the bottom of the state? And why should I pay inflated taxes for my children who don’t even attend?

Here’s my proposal. Once the county attracts the type of parents and families we need here, force the deadbeats out, improve the quality of education and life, and improve the expectations that the culture of this county has and I’ll be more than willing to pay higher taxes and maybe even send my kids back to school here. You pay for what you get. Thus far, I’ve been paying for a school system in a county with a ghetto mentality. You can pour all the taxes you want into the school system. It’s not going to change much until the people, parents, and communities decide to invest into and appreciate the benefits of a quality education and higher standards of living.

I refuse to pay for a Geo Metro that has monthly payments equal to a Mercedes.


June 1st, 2009
2:32 pm

I have to agree with SA because I pay to send my kid to private school. Clayton schools aren’t worth a darn with or without accreditation these days although its obviously better to have accreditation. Those taxes I save paying for this sorry school system are monies I could put towards my kid’s education elsewhere. So in short yeah I’m taking this as far as I can take it and getting every dollar I can get back.

party pooper

June 1st, 2009
3:07 pm

heard that SA


June 1st, 2009
5:24 pm

SA has it right on the money!


June 1st, 2009
8:20 pm

Enter your comments here

Tired Clayton Resident

June 1st, 2009
8:26 pm

Tman, I don’t think the schools’ performance can drop any more than they have. I do believe we are one of the lowest performing districts in the state. I will fight any attempt to raise my taxes to continue to pay people who are not held accountable for poor performance. I pay private school tuition AND taxes. I will not pay another penny for the jobs program that is the Clayton County School district. And please stop saying we don’t want to pay educate children. Geez, the school district’s budget is over half a billion and Clayton County Schools is one of the state’s largest employers. I say give everybody a voucher and let us send our children where we want!!!


June 1st, 2009
8:28 pm

To get more tax money the elected officials will have to earn the trust of the taxpayers. It will take a while…probably a long while. Get used to doing “more with less”. Once the Obama change is done there will be less all the way around.

Mad at 'em!

June 1st, 2009
8:40 pm

I agree wit SA. I don’t educate my child in the Clayton County school system, so why should I pay for it. If they hadn’t brought all of those undesireables into our county and forced them down our throats, they’d have more tax money. When I can proudly say I’m from Clayton County, I’ll proudly pay my taxes!

Hindsight 20/20

June 1st, 2009
10:36 pm

Thats what you say BB! But who actually took the 44 million dollars from the school district, honestly! I know its hard to said, come on now, come on now, you can do it. Let me help you Clayton’s Chember, Rich residents, SACS and the Sate of Georgia took accreditation and destroyed the county. Mainly because the District is “MAJORITY MINORITY”, although pale minority run!


June 2nd, 2009
12:40 am

You’ve got your head in the sand, Hindsight. You are trying to justify failure with excuses that don’t exist to make yourself feel better. One would think you had a hand in this given your attempts to deflect blame from where it really belongs.

All of the blame for the problems of the school system, the loss of businesses, depreciation of home values, and the inhabitants of county/city governments rests squarely upon the shoulders of the people who live here. The loss of $44 million, accreditation, and everything else you have ever spoken about are SYMPTOMS of a county with significant apathy and social decline, not the cause.


June 2nd, 2009
7:44 pm

I agree with you slightly, SA about the inhabitants and your quote SYMPTOMS, however you and your caused them! Remember the theory “Cause & Effect” your great politicians from 10 years so ago caused the social decline and you and your greedy yours caused the accreditation loss, the effect “The loss of $44 million school funding. You’re the one in denial!!!


June 3rd, 2009
7:52 am


You are what is wrong with this county. Until we run your kind off, this county is doomed. You are a cry baby, and a complainer. You do nothing good, but whine. You are looking for the county to remain under the control of these Fulton County failures who try to maintain office here. The newcomers who are decent people, are welcome here, and to hold office. Those who came here looking for a free ride in a county government office better start packing! Those BIG campaign signs with the big ethnic photos don’t get votes automatically here anymore. It takes more than that. So if your agenda is promoting one of the failures still holding office here, good luck!

party pooper

June 3rd, 2009
8:20 am

why is it always pale peoples fault?

Real Oldtimer

June 3rd, 2009
9:48 pm

This is off subject, but would somebody explain to me how is that Eldrin Bell can put Ericka Davis (the one who sat on the school board both times when we lost accreditation) on the Community Service Board? Why would this community stand for her getting on another board when she has proven that she doesn’t have skills to get along with people. This is another reason we need to be careful about who we elect to office.


June 3rd, 2009
10:16 pm

Gentrification is inevitable and will solve many of our woes.

Why did a developer create a gated community and build five four side brick custom homes right in the shadow of a slum foreclosed neighborhood in College Park? Don’t you think he would be familiar with the real estate mantra of “Location, location, location”? These houses are presently listed for $350k a pop right now. The subdivision has gone unsold for over a year but the builder still has private security to oversee the community. He even has electric turned on in the houses. Why would someone make such an obviously foolish investment and not cut their losses one they saw the error of their ways?

You my friends are free to draw the logical conclusion: Completely tank Clayco’s property value with a horrible school system and fear of a majority project mentality population and watch let the land grab feeding frenzy begin. Once certain insiders and savvy investors snap up all the dirt cheap property the climate will immediately change and these same individuals will sell it back to new developers and net an enourmous profit. You can bet that the insiders have already purchased their parcels and are waiting for a sure payday.

Do you really think that a community so close to the busiest airport in the world and so close to the City of Atlanta will indefinitely remain a slum overrun by coarse project life. Just wait and see what happens…………………….

Rearview Mirror

June 3rd, 2009
11:26 pm

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.(Mark Twain) However, in this case the two E’s (Elgrin & Ericka) the mix is “TOXIC for the county! Boyfriend-Girlfriend Deal or Candy & Sugar Daddy that stole the school’s accreditation WILL runup the “County’s Bond Rating” farther impoverishing the county! Who would have guess it “the people’s choice! Those folks really has it coming!!!

Mr. Opus

June 4th, 2009
12:43 am

What is wrong with Clayton County? There is crime everywhere. I think once we get rid off all the current elected officials, we can start the healing process.


June 4th, 2009
7:40 am

Rumor is ,Erika is one of Eldrin’s girl friends. That would explain it.

SynamonSays...What dfo you say?

June 4th, 2009
9:19 am

You are invited to sign onto every Friday night at 8pm. Our guest for this Friday evening is our Clayton County Board of Education Chairwoman Alieka Anderson. The online community is encouraged to participate in the discussion. You can dialogue with Chairwoman Anderson, ask questions or make comments during the show. Join us and be our guest for intelligent, intellectual exchange. Remember if its Friday night, its SynamonSays…What do you say?

Eldrin and Ericka

June 4th, 2009
11:01 am

Eldrin has referred to himself as “Pappy” in public in reference to Erika’s daughter. Not saying it’s a biological connection, just a connection that, given Erika’s disservice on the BOE, shows once again Eldrin puts cronies above the best interest of the people.

Keeping hope alive ...

June 4th, 2009
11:53 am

Let’s hope that someone worthwhile runs for Chairman the next time around. Last time there weren’t any worthwhile alternatives, but I’m sure that’s the way the powers that be around here like it.

Essential question

June 4th, 2009
8:36 pm

Here is the question that needs to be asked, and asked again, in as many ways as possible Friday night at until a straight, definitive answer can be given.

And before anyone says it’s a partisan question, it should be asked of ANY board member who appears at a public forum where questions are asked, because ALL NINE of them have failed to address this. If you want to cut them some slack on the issue, because the focus was on accreditation, that is legitimate. If you want to say this board has acted more “professional” up to this point, you can give them credit for that as well. But that was then; this is now, and this is the essential question:

“As a teacher, you have first hand knowledge that there is no greater threat to quality education today than the general erosion of the teacher’s authority in the classroom. Given that, what specific steps, policies, or proposals do you endorse that will have a direct, tangible effect on supporting the teacher’s ability to maintain the authority needed to protect the integrity of the learning environment?”

Again, this question needs to be asked of ANY publicly available board member, because ALL of them have failed to address it. And there needs to be a cascade of voices raining down with this question, because if this issue isn’t addressed, then NOTHING else matters.

Say what you want, but you can’t say it’s NOT a legitimate question. THE legitimate question if you want real “reform” in CCPS. And hopefully the current and former teachers on the board will have the political will to step up to the plate and address it, because THEY know first hand just how essential it is.

And if the citizens won’t hold the board accountable for addressing this question, you can only draw one conclusion: You’re getting the school system you fully and richly deserve.

The Right Unfair

June 4th, 2009
9:05 pm

The bottom line is public education is a publicly funded resource that is supposed to provide equal educational opportunities for all American children. We have to be fair in how we distribute resources and always mindful that we are not unfairly rationing opportunity. The accreditation crook destroyed the county. Unfortunately, fairness for some can have detrimental outcomes for others and we would be incredibly disingenuous to pretend that race and income are not a part of that formula.

Crispus Attucks

June 5th, 2009
6:51 pm

Home values dropped 43% last year, Dreadful! The Chamber and the Delegation should’ve thought about the aftermath when they ran to the school’s accrediting authority to take accreditation to spike the old final four BOE members. The bottom line is public education is a publicly funded resource that is supposed to provide equal educational opportunities for all American children. We have to be fair in how we distribute resources and always mindful that we are not unfairly rationing opportunity. Unfortunately, fairness for some can have detrimental outcomes for others and we would be incredibly disingenuous to pretend that race and income are not a part of that formula.


June 6th, 2009
9:58 pm

Unbelievable. There are still idiots blaming SACS! Guess they deserved what they got.


June 7th, 2009
2:04 pm

People who still don’t understand that SACS acted out of political motivation, not concern for students, are getting what they deserve. People who still don’t understand that most of the previous board acted in ways that can only be described as foolish and ignorant, are getting what they deserve.

People who think that the current board is actually addressing the key issues that make education dysfunctional in CCPS today, just because the SACS fawns over them, are getting what they deserve.

People who think that bringing in yet another outsider is going to be any different, just because the word Marine is attached to his name, are getting what they deserve.

Yep, there’s a whole lot of getting what you deserve going around ClayCo.

Bettie Sue Rayburn

June 7th, 2009
4:10 pm


The Truth

June 13th, 2009
9:16 am

Clayton County assessors should be ashamed of themselves for giving taxpayers these bogus home assessments. I attempted to refinance my house a couple of months ago, based on what they listed as my assessed value. When the mortgage company did the appraisal, they value they gave was almost less than half of what Clayton listed my house for. It should be criminal to deceive the taxpaying public like this. If we need better services, the commissioners should make an argument to raise taxes instead to going through the back door and fraudulently taxing home owners based on bogus assessments. I truly believe the state should (and eventually will) investigate Clayton’s assessments to determine whose responsible for this sham.

Deborah Ybarra

June 22nd, 2009
6:08 pm

no one will come in from the state and look into this. Their moto is you voted them in you have to vote them out. So if we do not like what we hvae then we have to vot them out to get in good ones. But then agian who is really honest and forthright here nobody in office at least.

So please do not wait on the state to make a move it will not happen we as people have to.

The Truth

June 24th, 2009
6:59 am

Nobody votes for assessors. If an elected official is telling a staffed employee to break the law, they are obligated to report that official If they do not, then they are just as culpable as the elected official. If there is a large enough trend of maleficence, the state will have to set in. Just like SACS did with the school system.

Deborah ybarra

June 30th, 2009
12:03 am

sacs did not step in until a lawsuit came about.


September 4th, 2009
11:54 pm

We just had our home appraised, it was 80,000 less than the fair market value we pay our taxes based on, I am going to sue this county for the decline of my property value, anyone want to join me???