New law freezes property assessment hikes

Attention homeowners: Your property assessment cannot increase until after January 2011. 

Legislation Gov. Sonny Perdue signed into law on Wednesday makes sure of that. House Bill 233, sponsored by Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta), prevents local governments from increasing the assessments used to calculate property taxes for three years, ending with the 2012 tax year.

Of course, assessments may be lowered, a distinction that is important as counties deal with the effects of another new law that requires assessors to consider foreclosures and other distressed properties when setting property values. That has led to thousands of homes seeing assessed values fall.

Some counties have needed a little extra push to convince them to do that, however.

29 comments Add your comment

Jeff

May 6th, 2009
3:37 pm

Hello millage rate increase.

OneChris

May 6th, 2009
4:07 pm

Mike

May 6th, 2009
4:08 pm

when assessments fall, millage rates will go outa sight. People who think this means there tax bills are going down are in for a surprise.

Phil

May 6th, 2009
4:25 pm

It’s not that easy for counties to increase millage rates

Counties must rollback their millage rate to offset inflationary increases or hold three public hearings before increasing the mill rate.

People who are thinking their taxes are going to fall due to this bill. Are thinking correctly.

Phil

May 6th, 2009
4:29 pm

Also let me add

Property in Georgia is assessed at 40% of the fair market value unless otherwise specified by law.

Example: The assessed value–40 percent of the fair market value–of a house that is worth $100,000 is $40,000. In a county where the millage rate is 25 mills the property tax on that house would be $1,000; $25 for every $1,000 of assessed value or $25 multiplied by 40 is $1,000.

If, you house is being assessed far lower due to the current housing market. That would have to be one hell of Millage rate increase to raise your tax bill. I don’t see that with elections every two years and the voter backlash would clean house.

Rod

May 6th, 2009
4:47 pm

Who gives a d–n about that. I want something saying taxes won’t go up!! The millage rate is about to increase to 100% next week. More toothless legislation. It’s like saying you are going to fight against illegal immigration but yet you hire illegals for your construction crews. The South needs to at least use it’s “color blind roots” and stop all these construction, cleaning and other crews from taking our d–n jobs. Signed a black democrats who wants the southern republicans to use their “color blind roots” to give real americans back their jobs that some said we would never do. Well h– since we are out of work I guess we will do them now. That means, construction, cleaning, maid service and any g– d— job in america. Everyone legal is fine to stay but send everyones else back. d— it.

Anna

May 6th, 2009
4:57 pm

I sent in the paperwork to have my property taxes reduced for Fulton County. Does anyone know when the notices go out to let you know if you are approved or not?

Hoof Hearted

May 6th, 2009
5:15 pm

This legislation is all about pandering. Where were all of the legislators in 2004 crying about how property values were skyrocketing, but assessments were too low? Also, what’s going to happen to the vast majority of homeowners whose assessments are accurate? Guess what, their tax bills are going up because of the inevitable millage increases based on the properties with falling values. Also, what happens when the value of some folks’ property rises dramatically in the next few years? They get a free ride on the backs of everyone else.

AppraiserGirl

May 6th, 2009
5:17 pm

Counties are required to send notices if a ‘Returned Value’ is not accepted; thereby giving an opportunity to appeal. Most will also send notices for downward assessments. The only increases one should see are for new construction, new parcels or improvements that had been incomplete for 2008 and have now been completed.

Jeff

May 6th, 2009
5:49 pm

Phil, what county do you live in that asseses property tax value at 40% of fair market? I live in Fulton and my tax assesment on my condo was 10% higher on the day I bought(paid 197k assessed 217k). There hasn’t been a sale over 150k in the past year in my building, and I’m still assesed at 217k. Fulton county tax assesments are way higher than any loan company would appraise it for loan approval…pure robbery.

Another Appraiser Girl

May 6th, 2009
5:59 pm

Actually, new law provides that Counties send an assessment notice for ANY change in value whether that be up or down.

As for those thinking that taxes will go down now…….WRONG!!!!!!

As for those that think it isn’t so easy to increase millage rates….WRONG!!!!!! Sure, there are more steps involved in order to increase a millage rate, but it can AND it will be done.

As for people like Jeff and Mike, it is so nice to see that there are people out there that actually understand what this DUMB A** bill means. I wished everyone, INCLUDING THE LEGISLATORS understood taxes and law.

Mike

May 6th, 2009
6:05 pm

Paulding county: tax assessed $230,000.00, appraised for re-financing $169,000. Dear assessment board, wanna buy?

Joseph

May 6th, 2009
7:27 pm

It is nice to see that some people like Hoof Hearted understand what this law actually means. It means regular citizens will have to pay more taxes to make up for the loss in revenue due to properties not increasing in value when they should. Another reason is commercial properties cannot increase as well which shifts even more of the tax burden to regular homeowners.

catlady

May 6th, 2009
8:15 pm

Isn’t school tax (the majority of your property tax bill) capped at 21 mils? If your county already taxes at 21 mils (unless it is one of those who got special permission to go above 21, like I believe Dekalb or Fulton) that part should not go up. If, like me, your school board has been loathe to go above 15 mils, they have got plenty of wiggle room to go up if they are willing to chance it with the voters. Of course, my county also thinks that it should get extra money from the state (from those of you in counties that maximally tax for schools) to offset our “poor” county even though we are not willing to go to the max ourselves for our schools.

At any rate, no matter what, we know we will be paying more one way or another.

Phil

May 6th, 2009
8:59 pm

Jeff I suggest you take a look at your millage rates because what I posted is found at Georgia department of revenue. The formula they use is something similar too that.

Rod I don’t believe you’ve seen a millage rate increase of 100%. That would mean you property taxes doubled. My property taxes went up becasue they reassessed my home. They since reassessed the value and I already know I’ll be paying lower because our millage rate is the same.

I post it again for those who ignored it the 1st time.

Counties must rollback their millage rate to offset inflationary increases or hold three public hearings before increasing the mill rate.

I seriously doubt any county is dumb enough to attempt a 100% millage increase and thinks that dog of increase would fly.

A dad

May 6th, 2009
9:06 pm

Sally

May 6th, 2009
11:06 pm

Since property taxes are primarily school expenses, people who don’t have kids are being raped to pay for the breeders. How about this plan, you want to spawn, you pay for their upkeep via education bills directly pegged to the number of spawn you feel is appropriate to generate and currently enrolled in the school system. Plan ahead for the expenses required for the upkeep of your offspring.

Keith

May 6th, 2009
11:25 pm

School system milage rates are capped at 20 mils unless an increase is approved by local voters.

Joe

May 7th, 2009
7:59 am

To late for Thomas county. After last years new assessment hikes, my property tax tripled.

TinaTeach

May 7th, 2009
9:23 am

Property is assessed at around 50 to 60 percent of the actual value in Walton. Although with the house price decrease our home is only real estate market appraised at about 85% of what we owe. Guess we’re not selling any time soon!

[...] New law freezes property assessment hikes. [...]

Joe

May 7th, 2009
10:49 am

The whole point of this law was so that local officials would have to publicly raise millage rates (mostly capped at 20 mills, except Fulton and DeKalb) instead of reassessing property through ’stealth tax hikes’. Given that public hearings must occur instead of determining the amount of revenue you’d like next year and sending the assessor out until they have raised valuations up to generate the ‘proper’ amount, I think that this will stabilize property taxes rather than allow them to keep climbing.

Bob G

May 7th, 2009
1:53 pm

Pure political pandering. Edward Lindsey, Chip Rogers et al are ignorant about what is truly wrong with Georgia’s property tax system. What they are NOT ignorant about is what they need to do to get your vote.

Except for the fact that it is deceptive and provides false hope, this law is a non-issue… in the current economic climate, it will bring no meaningful benefit to Georgia taxpayers. The law will, however, force millage rate increases. Even worse, “creative” levying authorities will pad their millage increase in one year so that they do not have to raise it in successive years.

The end result… exactly what happens today… is that the taxes that property owners pay will have no mathematical connection to the actual cost of government. More often than not, property owners will pay MORE than is required to fund their government.

(Phil… the `Taxpayers Bill of Rights` millage rollback is voluntary… and you can bet your sweet bippy that no city, county or school board is going to roll back for AT LEAST the next three years!)

Check out http://www.millagerate.com/blog for 100% effective solution.

[...] New law freezes property assessment hikes | Gold Dome Live Tags: assessment caps, HB-233 [...]

ray

May 7th, 2009
7:17 pm

This is insanity. The property tax needs to be replaced with other tax sources based on the ability to pay, or the benefits principle. The property tax doesn’t meet either of these tests. Manipulating assessed values will only cause chaos and poorer government services. It’s a Republican sham and scam. (and I used to be a Republican)

RayRay

May 8th, 2009
4:08 pm

Last yr I had my tax doubled in Lithonia. It was a shocker.

DK

May 11th, 2009
10:32 am

Phil doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

While it’s true that governing authorities have to hold three public meetings before raising the millage rate, this happens all the time with little public notice. Many times these meetings have no one even show up. Even if they are hotly contested, the public has no right to vote at these meetings. The governing authorities will simply state that they have no choice because they have to provide essential services (which is true, to a point). Three years later when values are raised, the millage rates will not be adjusted downward enough (if at all) to offset the increase in the new digest. Hello Higher Taxes!

Oh and BTW, I’m a twenty year property tax professional Phil and I’ve seen millage rates double in a year. I believe Atlanta is talking about a 25% increase to theirs this year.

DK

May 11th, 2009
10:46 am

One more thing you’re forgetting Phil. Property taxes are not the only source of revenue. Sales tax, user fees (like building permits, utility hook up, court fines, etc.) also fund local government operations and these sources are almost all down. Property tax’s greatest strength as a source of revenue for local governments is that its structure allows it to act as a circuit breaker that allows it to make up shortfalls from other sources. I guarantee you that millage rates will increase substantially in most jurisdictions over the next three years.

Lori McCormick

May 27th, 2009
9:07 pm

HB 233 IS A HUGE MISTAKE! IT IS UNFAIR AND SHOW NO UNIFORMITY! HOW FAIR IS IT THAT MY ASSESSMENT HAS BEEN REVALUED EVERY TWO YEARS BUT THE LAKE PROPERTIES IN MY COUNTY HAVE NOT BE TOUCHED IN 10 YEAR AND THE COMMERICAL IS ON AT ABOUT 22%. THANKS MR. ROGERS YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK BECAUSE NOW I AM FROZEN AT THE HIGHER VALUE WHILE THE OTHERS ARE NOT VALUED ANYWHERE NEVER WHAT THEY SHOULD BE SO THANKS TO YOU I WILL PAYING PART OF THEIR TAXES! ALSO MILLAGE RATES WILL SKY ROCKET BECAUSE COUNTIES WILL HAVE NO CHOICE OR MAKE CUTS AND THAT WILL INCLUDE FIRE AND RESUE AND SHERRIFFS DEPARTMENTS. PLUS THE TAX ASSESSORS OFFICE WILL STILL HAVE TO KEEP UP WITH FAIR MARKET VALUES BECAUSE THE STATE IS STILL GOING TO COLLECT THEIR 1/4 MILL ON FAIR MARKET VALUE WHERE IT IS HIGHER OR LOWER. WHICH MEANS THE COUNTY COLLECTS ON FROZEN VALUES AND STATE COLLECTS ON FAIR MARKET VALUES NOT FROZEN VALUES NOW HOW HAPPY DOES THAT MAKE YOU! DOUBLE THE WORK ON TAX ASSESSMENT OFFICES AND CUT MONIES FOR COUNTY LEVEL BUT CONTINUE TO COLLECT ON THE STATE LEVEL DONT LET THEM FOOL YOU THEY ARE JUST WANTING TO BE RE-ELECTED! I AM ALL FOR A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT ON THE BASIS OF NON UNIFORMITY AND UNCONSTITIONAL THAT I AM HAVING TO PAY A PORTION OF SOMEONE ELSES TAXES!