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Appeal of Assessment Process

Beginning with Tax Year 2011 all taxable properties will receive an “Annual Notice of Assessment” in compliance with SB 346 passed by the 2010 Legislators and signed into law by Governor Sonny Perdue. Every owner of real property receives their Notice of Assessment with the previous and current years’ Fair Market and Assessed values listed.  These notices are mailed to the last known owner and address.

Upon receipt of this notice, an appeal may be filed if the owner believes the Fair Market Value on their property is incorrect. An owner should not appeal based on the estimate of taxes printed at the bottom of the notice. Owners or their representative may file an appeal in writing (a letter or the appeal form found in “Forms” section of this site) with the Board of Assessors by the appeal deadline indicated in the upper right-hand corner of the notice after “Last date to file a written appeal” (45 days from the “Annual Assessment Notice Date”). If an owner wants to use an attorney or representative, the owner must include a current letter of authorization when filing their appeal that authorizes this person to represent the owner. You must also indicate the path of your appeal by choosing one of the following:

  1. Appeal to the County Board of Equalization (BOE) with an appeal to Superior Court. Appeal may be based on value, uniformity, taxability or denial of exemption.
  2. Arbitration without an appeal to Superior Court on value only. The property owner, at his/her own expense must provide the Board of Assessors a Certified Appraisal for Ad Valorem tax purposes by a Certified Appraiser, as of January 1 of the year that is being appealed along with filing fees.
  3. Hearing Officer with appeal to Superior Court for appeals of non–homesteaded real property valued in excess of $500,000, or for one or more wireless property accounts with an aggregate value in excess of $500,000. (HB 374 Amended Code Section 48-5-306(2)(A)(iii) and Code Section 48-5-311(e.1)(1)(A) (iii & iv) by reducing this threshold to $500,000 as of July 1, 2018.)

The Board of Assessors has 180 days from the date the appeal is received to answer the owners and their authorized representative. If there is a change made to the Fair Market Value listed on the original Notice, this change is communicated to the owner and their representative in writing by mailing them a new 30-day Notice of Assessment. If the owner or their authorized representative is still not satisfied with the new value, they may continue the appeal by notifying the Board of Assessors in writing (letter) that they wish to continue their appeal. The Board of Assessors will certify the appeal to a Board of Equalization or any other path selected on the appeal form. If the appeal is certified to the Board of Equalization or Hearing Officer, all correspondence will come from the Appeal Administrator for the Board of Equalization, as to the date and time the hearing will be scheduled before them. Decisions regarding Arbitration will be communicated in writing from the Board of Assessors.

If the Board of Assessors makes no additional changes to the value on the original notice, this is communicated to the owner and their representative by letter indicating their appeal is being certified to a Board of Equalization or their other chosen path. If the appeal is certified to the Board of Equalization or Hearing Officer, all correspondence will come from the Appeal Administrator for the Board of Equalization, as to the date and time of the hearing before them.

If the owner is still not satisfied with the Fair Market Value after the hearing and decision of the Board of Equalization, they may appeal to Superior Court within 30 days of the decision. See “Appeals to the Superior Court” below. All appeals to the Board of Assessors and the Board of Equalization are at no expense to the owner; however, there are fees to file to Superior Court. Additionally, the appeal should not be based on any complaint about the amount of taxes levied on the property. Please remember that an appeal is not an excuse for nonpayment of taxes.

Appeals to the Superior Court

Written notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days to the county board of tax assessors along with a check payable to “Clerk of Superior Court” (call 706-653-4398 for filing fee amount)

  Once a decision has been made by the county board of equalization or a hearing officer, the taxpayer may appeal their decision to the superior court of the county by mailing or filing with the county board of tax assessors a written notice of appeal. The written notice of appeal should be mailed or filed within 30 days from which the decision of the county board of equalization was mailed.

Ad valorem taxes must be paid

  Before the superior court can hear an appeal, the ad valorem taxes must be paid in an amount equal to the last year in which taxes were determined to be due. (O.C.G.A. 48–5–29)

Notification of certification of notice of appeal to clerk of superior court

  The county board of tax assessors will certify the notice of appeal to the clerk of the superior court. The taxpayer or their attorney or agent will be served with a copy of the notice of appeal with the civil action file number assigned to the appeal.

Appeal heard by superior court

  In most cases the appeal will be heard before a jury at the first term of court unless questions of law are at issue in the appeal.

Property Owner Could Recover Court Costs and Fees

  In certain instances, the property owner may recover court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred in the appeal hearing before the superior court. The property owner could recover these costs and fees if the court finds the final value to be 85% or less (80% for commercial property) of the board of equalization’s determination of value. This would not apply, however, if the property owner had failed to return the property for taxation.