Tax Appeals Corner
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
This is the first edition of what we will call the Appeals Corner. The object is to keep property owners as up to date as possible on appeals requirements, dates, and decisions. All appeals are open, so there is no reason a visitor cannot report what decision was made or what strategy was used.
So far no dates for 2022 have been scheduled.
Some recent research has uncovered a state law which we will print ( OCGA 48 5 299;) essentially it says that an appellant who loses his appeal but has reasonably argued his case will have his current assessment frozen for two years; obviously appellant has to appear. Other conditions apply: that the appellant can not appeal again or submit a return with another value and maintain the freeze. It would be appropriate to bring copy of this law to the appeal, just in case.
The Board of Equalization has not used this law in recent cases. But they may need a general reminder.
Practically an appraisal by an outside appraiser has been automatically discarded by the BOE. A recent case study in the BOE computer training module brought a review of this practice. Essentially an outside appraisal can be used but there are requirements: 1. must be conducted between 1 April and 31 December of assessment year (same year sales figures used)'; appraiser must be fully certified in state and with certifying organizations; must have no disclosures like "not to be used for tax purposes". The take away here is that any one considering an appeal in 2023 and is also considering an appraisal must get it done before end of year. No reason not to ask appraisers about details. OCGA 48 5 311 B -1 included here does address process with appraisers.
Remember that conditions for an appeal are as 1 January 2023; so documentation should show conditions at that time. for instance if you are building a house, and it is 80% completed at year end; document that, perhaps not in move in condition yet; also file a return to support that fact. When completed, appraiser should visit new status for next tax year.
If such parcels are owed by same owners and deeded that way, they can be combined for tax purposes. They need not be surveyed and joined. They remain separate but are taxed as one unit.
Any comments are welcome.