Monday, February 21, 2011

Lower Your Property Taxes

One of the upsides of the declining home values in Atlanta (I know, the bright side-right?) is that, theoretically, property taxes may also decrease.  My own property value decreased sharply last year since my purchase in January 2008, so more than likely, I am way overpaying for property taxes.  But I plan to make a change right now with regards to overpaying my property taxes, and you can (and should) too.

I did a little research on the internet to determine how to go about the process of appealing the tax valuation.  I found an article at written in 2009 regarding this subject (see article) and a recent Clark Howard article on WSB's site plus I called the friendly people down at the Fulton County Tax Assessor's office to get the scoop.

They all make it sound very simple.  First, find out what your property was valued at last year.  Now, determine what you think your fair market value is this year.  Before you can appeal your property taxes, you must file a simple form called a Taxpayer's Return of Real Property (click here).  The deadline for most counties to receive this Return is March 1, and April 1 in Fulton County.  Once the helpful, friendly folks down at the county tax assessors office (diction and speaking skills are not a hiring requirement there, btw) receive your return, they will look at it and then send out a response between April and June.  They might lower your taxes, but if they don't, you will have 45 days from the time the notice was sent to appeal your taxes.  Remember, you can't appeal your taxes this year until you have been sent a notice for this year's valuation, and based on my understanding, after your county tax office has received your Taxpayer's Return of Real Property. 

There are several firms who can and will help you with this entire process if you just hate the idea of dealing with your local government on your own.  One such firm mentioned in Howard's article is My Property Tax Appeal.  Also, if you don't know what your value may be this year compared to last, please contact me and I will be glad to help you determine that based on similar properties to yours in your neighborhood that sold last year. 

Remember at the beginning of this article when I mentioned that lowering your property taxes is one of the upsides of the declining values in the local real estate market?  Well another upside is the huge savings you could get right now to buy an investment property, move up home, or first home.  Please contact me if you know of someone I could help with a real estate need at  And here's to us all lowering our property taxes.

No comments:

Post a Comment