Property tax bill wins final approval

A long-promised property tax reform bill — promising annual assessments and longer appeal time — received final passage from the General Assembly Thursday.

“With the passage of SB 346, we will protect taxpayers from unfair assessments and guarantee the right to appeal,” Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock said). “While this is a huge victory for Georgia property owners, it’s only part of the solution to providing a system that actually works  With the passage of SB 346, we will protect taxpayers from unfair assessments and guarantee the right to appeal.”

The bill, considered the most sweeping overhaul of Georgia’s property tax system, would:

  • Requirement that every property owner receive annual Notice of Assessment, which guarantees right to appeal
  • Every Notice of Assessment must contain estimated property tax
  • Expansion of appeal time-period from 30 to 45 days
  • Alternative streamlined appeal option for property valued in excess of $1,000,000
  • Automatic taxpayer victory on appeals when government fails to respond within 45 days
  • Requirement that all relevant sales, including distress sales, be included when determining Fair Market Value
  • Requirement that only “current use of property” be used in determining Fair Market Value
  • Taxpayer must be given access to all data used in determining Fair Market Value
  • Sales price establishes Fair Market Value for next tax year

Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta), who squired the bill through the House, said before the House’s final vote Thursday that the bill should give “gr eater rights to our property owners when it comes to appeals.

29 comments Add your comment

Winfield J. Abbe

April 29th, 2010
12:56 pm

The burden should be on the counties to lower all values to market values without appeals of owners.
Their feet should be placed to the fire. The law should provide that any property can be placed on the market for 6 months with any licensed agent and if it does not sell for the stated tax value by the county, the county should then be forced to buy the property for that value period. This woud put their feet to the fire. The next best option is to abolish the entire unfair but unchallenged property tax where numerous property owners do not even have any representation at all, the very issue over which our brave ancestors fought a violent revolutionary war over two centuries ago.

C Jae of East Lake

April 29th, 2010
1:12 pm

And on that note, we should now brace for the ligitimate lowering of tax digits across the state which may well translate into wider gaps in public education funding which is tied closely to property taxes.

All in all, I believe this bill is the right thing to do for property owners across the state. But having said that it doesn’t provide clear cut answers to budget woes overall.

Bill

April 29th, 2010
1:13 pm

Nice to see that owners of property valued at over a million dollars get special treatment. Always looking out for the underdog.

Winfield,
How is it that property owners do not have any representation?

chefdavid

April 29th, 2010
1:22 pm

Can we say unfunded mandate?

MiltonMan

April 29th, 2010
1:29 pm

It’s about time! Living in Fulton, I am sick and tired of the Fulton county clowns who refuse to value my property in a fair manner. I have appealled twice now & won both times over objections by a Fulton County Tax appraiser who couldn’t even find the location of my property on both occassions.

hdhd

April 29th, 2010
1:33 pm

Unfunded mandate? They are making counties tell people how they are determining how much of their hard earned money they are taking. It requires a computer, semi-intelligent staff, and a piece of paper.

Isitme

April 29th, 2010
1:33 pm

It looks to be a start in the right direction..

Ocee

April 29th, 2010
1:43 pm

I bet the school board will really raise the mill rate now.

Dave

April 29th, 2010
1:45 pm

Bill………………….1:13 p.m.

I own property in a county where I do not live & cannot vote in that county……….lots of us don’t have rep….

GeorgeJung

April 29th, 2010
1:46 pm

Cool…there goes the millage rate.

sarge

April 29th, 2010
1:46 pm

Many of the metro counties seem to have problems with tax values. I live in a more rural county and they have my property valued at 70-80% of what it is really worth. I am keeping my mouth shut. Rural country life sure is sweet.

Tiger Woods + Jesse James = SuperBAD meets SuperEVIL in "SuperUGLY"

April 29th, 2010
2:00 pm

Bill

April 29th, 2010
1:13 pm
“Nice to see that owners of property valued at over a million dollars get special treatment. Always looking out for the underdog.”

“Winfield,
How is it that property owners do not have any representation?”

Bill, it’s about time that the Georgia Legislature started looking out for the rights and interests of properties that are valued over a million dollars. Every year in the Communist-controlled Georgia Legislature it just seems that all those Marxists under the Gold Dome ever talk about are poor Georgians who are close to, at or under the poverty level, no one ever talks about protecting the interests of the guys that pay for it all, the millionaires and billionaires of this state. It just seems that the wealth redistribution-oriented Georgia General Assembly looks out for the broke bums at the expense of the big guy and I’m sick and tired of it!

Why hasn’t the legislature acted decisively to decrease the tax burden on those making seven figures a year and more? I’ve got a suggestion for the bleeding-heart suckers under the Gold Dome! Abolish all state and local income and property taxes on all of those making a million dollars or more a year and also abolish all state and local sales taxes on all purchases of luxury items.

Let all of those broke bums “pull themselves by their own bootstraps” and go out and get it for themselves! All those MOOCHERS making under $1,000,000 a year can stop FREELOADING off of those of us in the PRODUCER CLASS who actually have something worthwhile of use to offer to this society that would be totally lost without us! It’s about time that people with money took back this country and told those lazy bums making under a million a year to get a REAL JOB!

That’s right, stop aiming low and becoming teachers and firemen and policemen and garbage men and paramedics and nurses, etc and take up a career that is actually of some use to this society, like that of a Wall Street Investment Banker! And while they’re at it, it’s about time that us people with money turned the tables on those totally useless broke bums and encourage our legislators at ALL levels of governance to streamline the democratic process and reserve voting privileges only for those who own property valued over at least $100,000 and weight the privileges towards those who own the most property so the more property that one has, the more their vote counts!

Watcher

April 29th, 2010
2:02 pm

WRT value considering ONLY USE as the ariticle implies, the bill actually says:

SECTION 5-3.Said Code section is further amended in paragraph (3) by revising subparagraph (B) as follows:”(B) The tax assessor shall consider apply the following criteria in determining the fair market value of real property:(i) Existing zoning of property;(ii) Existing use of property, including any restrictions or limitations on the use of property resulting from state or federal law or rules or regulations adopted pursuant to the authority of state or federal law;(iii) Existing covenants or restrictions in deed dedicating the property to a particular use;(iv) Foreclosure sales, bank Bank sales, other financial institution owned sales, or distressed sales, or any combination thereof, of comparable real property;(v) Decreased value of the property based on limitations and restrictions resulting from the property being in a conservation easement; and(vi) Any other existing factors provided by law or by rule and regulation of the commissioner deemed pertinent in arriving at fair market value.”

PinkoNeoConLibertarian

April 29th, 2010
2:03 pm

Dave, you chose to buy that property knowing that you would not have a say in county matters. You made the choice–you chose the consequences. If you want a say, move there.

Rob Vinson

April 29th, 2010
2:15 pm

This is a good bill. No more returns to file in order to appeal a value. More time to file appeals,and an alternative, stream lined, appeal options for properties valued in excess of $1M. The millage rates can’t be raised much higher than they already are because if they exceed 20 mills, then they have to put it up for vote in that county. I’m looking forward to the change.

C Jae of East Lake

April 29th, 2010
2:16 pm

@ SuperUgly: That was quite a diatribe. I’m shocked it made it through the filter. Nevertheless, after reading it I’m asking myself are you railing againest the Communist-Rupublicans who controlled Georgia Legislature or the “bleeding heart” Democrats who’ve been in the minority for the last few years without the effective numbers to block anything the Communist-Republicans deside they want to pass.

Just a curious thought

Rob Vinson

April 29th, 2010
2:18 pm

I meant the education portion of the tax bill can’t exceed 20 mills without letting the public vote on an increase.

Tiger Woods + Jesse James = SuperBAD meets SuperEVIL in "SuperUGLY"

April 29th, 2010
2:29 pm

C Jae of East Lake, April 29th, 2010, 2:16 pm-

I’m not railing against the Communist Republicans or the the bleeding-heart Democrats. I’m railing against the Communist Bleeding-hearts REPUBLICRATS who only care about Georgians who make under a million dollars a year and in particular, those who make under $100,000/year. What a bunch of pathetic broke hapless losers! Who would ever take a job making under a measly 100k a year and then demand that guys like me pay for your schools, police, firemen and sanitation (all of that stuff should be PRIVATELY purchased, anyway!)???? A TOTAL LOSER, that’s who!

Smokewagon

April 29th, 2010
2:40 pm

I know that people do not want to hear this but the county government must have funds to function. Lowering assessments on homes will only decrease their tax base. When this occurs governments will not look at how to run leaner but they begin trimming off necessities like the fire dept & police force to hurt the taxpayer. This trick was used by the City of Atl. during Ms. Franklins terms and it has caught on like wildfire. I am not affilliated with the government in any way but folks beware that your local (or any) government will not find a way to do more with less like the private sector. They will immediately go for your jugular in retaliation and trim emergency services that we depend on.

Tiger Woods + Jesse James = SuperBAD meets SuperEVIL in "SuperUGLY"

April 29th, 2010
3:05 pm

Smokewagon

April 29th, 2010
2:40 pm

“I know that people do not want to hear this but the county government must have funds to function. Lowering assessments on homes will only decrease their tax base. When this occurs governments will not look at how to run leaner but they begin trimming off necessities like the fire dept & police force to hurt the taxpayer. This trick was used by the City of Atl. during Ms. Franklins terms and it has caught on like wildfire. I am not affilliated with the government in any way but folks beware that your local (or any) government will not find a way to do more with less like the private sector. They will immediately go for your jugular in retaliation and trim emergency services that we depend on.”

Smokewagon, that’s okay because the size of government needs to be much smaller, anyway. The size of government needs to be trimmed, cut and shrunken down to a point to where it could fit in a shoebox and the only service that should be available is the local jail (for all of those jealous loathing low-brow types that can’t keep their grubby little hands off of MY STUFF!). Police, fire and sanitation services should all be privatized services that are only available to those willing to pay the actual premimum cost involved in providing them. Let the market decide who gets what service at what cost! And let’s not even get started talking about those evil public government schools, which should be abolished in lieu of publicly-funded private schools that require mandatory user fees and tuition that reflect the actual cost of providing the education (about $7,000-$13,000/annually) paid in full before a child can attend.

Also, why does the government need to pay the exorbitant cost of keeping libraries open as well when the free market can provide the service better through booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Borders and even the bookstores for the poor, the generic B. Dalton Bookseller and Waldenbooks found in those outdated decaying erstwhile temples of shopping for the poor, malls? Want to read a book or get an education? Pay for it out of your pocket like those of us with REAL JOBS and stop excepting people with money to fund it!

tc

April 29th, 2010
3:21 pm

anybody know the effective date or calendar year it applies to?

Bobby

April 29th, 2010
3:25 pm

What generated this bill was the years of arrogance toward homeowners by Fulton and Dekalb tax appraisers. Had they treated the homeowners as customers the State would not be stepping in with this law.

Scott

April 29th, 2010
3:43 pm

Presumably, all properties will get revalued according to the same scale; so, the relative values and thus share of the property tax burden shouldn’t change much. What may seem like a windfall when property values have been declining will be quickly reversed when the market heads in a positive direction. Most counties have been historically slow to catch values up during times of appreciation. Seems like this bill will likely change that by requiring them to establish systems to reevaluate annually. In the short term it seems just like piling more on top of the counties revenue woes.

sarge

April 29th, 2010
3:56 pm

takes effect for 2011

SuperUgly's Daddy

April 29th, 2010
4:10 pm

SuperUgly,

This is your daddy. Get off the computer and get back to work you little turd or else I’m going to take away your inheritance…..I’m not kidding this time!

I like it !

April 29th, 2010
4:14 pm

I like this. I would like to appeal my appraisal information but I understand I missed the deadline for Dekalb County residents. Can someone please tell me why Dekalb County appraisal info does not match my bank appraisal information. My bank says the home is worth more than what the county has on record. What gives?

JJ

April 29th, 2010
4:14 pm

The devaluing of property will just force the counties to up the millage rate. In the end they will always get the dollars needed.

ForExample

April 29th, 2010
4:48 pm

This Bill would never been needed if the counties just did the right thing. Georgia law already requires the counties the meet an equalization rate to prove their values are at current market. When homes values were going up the counties loved to point at this law and say “we had to increase property values to be in compliance with State law”. But when the values started decreasing most counties turned their heads and pretended it wasn’t happening or they just used sales figures that benefited the county and ignored the ones they didn’t want to use. I know for a fact that my county is currently at about 45% ratio where 38 – 42 is acceptable. This means the average value in the county is 7% too high, many are much higher than that while the property values that have been successfully appealed are closer to correct.

It is true that even by trimming the budget and county size, a certain amount of monies must come in to meet the needs of the citizens and this will probably result in higher millage rates. But at least everyone will know upfront that all property values are done correctly and everyone is paying the correct taxes. I appealed my home and won so my value is a market correct $145,000. But my neighbors, even after my encouraging them to appeal, still haven’t done so and their values run in the upper 100’s for similar homes. Even with this law, the homeowner must still file an appeal if they feel the value is not correct.

BTW – most counties have an online data base of all the properties in the county and last year’s assessment and recent “qualifying” sales. The “qualifying” sales are a joke, but a useful guide non-the-less. But this is a useful tool to use in an appeal.

Tiger Woods + Jesse James = SuperBAD meets SuperEVIL in "SuperUGLY"

April 29th, 2010
5:14 pm

SuperUgly’s Daddy, April 29th, 2010, 4:10 pm-

You forget that I don’t have to take orders from you because I’ve already had you declared mentally unfit and NOT of sound, mind and body by the court after you tried donate part of my inheritance to charity! How dare you try to give my money away to some these poor bums that already make us pay for unnecessary WANTS like schools and fire departments and police departments, blah, blah, blah….That money was to go towards my PERSONAL private jet, champaigne and caviar fund! How dare you give away MY money to provide scholarships to a whole bunch of broke freeloading lazy MOOCHERS!!!!! Daddy, when will even learn that if you keep giving them money for things like education and food and shelter then the MOOCHERS will never stop breeding!

There’s a reason that they don’t make over a million a year and it’s because God intended them to be born to serve people like me!