Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Challenge Your Property Assessment - March 1st deadline

By: Rep Mike Jacobs

In the ongoing housing slump, I frequently receive e-mails from constituents who are concerned that the market value of their home is less than its assessed value for property tax purposes. The question all of these homeowners ask is the same: What can they do about it?

The answer: File a Georgia property tax return.

If you believe that the sale prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood have fallen to the point that the county now uses a higher value to calculate your property taxes than you could get if you put your home on the market, Georgia law allows you to tell the DeKalb County tax assessors what the current fair market value of your property is. This will force the assessors to review your property assessment. It is not necessary to wait for your property to be reassessed.

To do so, you will need to file a Form PT-50R (click for a fill-and-print PDF version; Adobe Reader is required) so that it is received no later than March 1 at the following address:

DeKalb County Property Appraisal Department
120 West Trinity Place, Room 208
Decatur, GA 30030

To fill out the form, you will need certain information about your property that can be found in DeKalb’s property tax records. Click here to search the property tax records for your street address.

For further information, click here for an AJC article and here for a Georgia Department of Revenue web page about property tax returns.

In case you need to contact them directly, the telephone number for the DeKalb County Property Appraisal Department is (404) 371-0841.

Remember, March 1 is the deadline to use this process to challenge your property assessment if you believe your assessment is “upside down” compared to the fair market value of your home.

1 comment:

John Heneghan said...

I really respect Rep. Mike Jacobs

Rep. Jacobs, county in tiff over stimulus bond votes

State Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-DeKalb) and DeKalb County officials are battling over the use of property taxes to repay or guarantee payments on public development bonds without a taxpayer referendum.

Jacobs says he understands DeKalb has been granted about $50 million in federal economic recovery stimulus funds and the county would like to use the Economic Recovery and Facility Bonds for funding of public development projects.

The federal government will pay 45 percent of the interest payments associated with the public facility bonds. DeKalb County must repay the principle and the remaining 55 percent of the interest on those bonds.

Jacobs said the county may also have another $30 million for use for private developments, but private developers are responsible for repaying those bonds and the interest.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, who already has called for a 1.8 mill tax increase to support his budget for the coming fiscal year, apparently wants to pay the public facility bond interest and repay the bonds using 1 mill of county property tax revenues, Jacobs said.

But, there is a glitch in that plan. Jacobs had a law passed in 2007 that restricts counties from committing property tax funds to repay the principle and interest on public facility development bonds without a taxpayer vote.

Jacobs' change to the state code, which was directly aimed at DeKalb County at the time, withstood a challenge and was upheld by the Georgia Supreme Court.

Jacobs said he had recently been asked by DeKalb officials to amend his 2007 action so that the county would be able to bypass a referendum in its attempt to use 1 mill of property taxes to pay off the principle and interest obligations for public facility bonds used to repay the federal economic stimulus funds.

Jacobs said his answer was short: "No."

Click the link above for the rest of the story...