2013 was the first year we implemented our proprietary LLPP. The results speak for themselves in hard numbers. Our real estate tax appeals delivered terrific results and some of you can see the results by double clicking the chart below.
If your property was not on the list, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get your results. Our specialist for the appeals had a computer crash and lost all of his data after the process was complete. Thus, send me an email and I will forward you your results.
Property assessments will be aggressively raised by the county property assessors as values continue to rise in the Atlanta Metro area. It is critical to stay on top of this every year or you are certain to pay more for property taxes. The question is: How much more? If you do nothing, you are at the mercy of the county assessor who probably wants a salary raise. So, if taxes go up, more money for the county coffers. At the end of this newsletter, Jeff George our tax appeal specialist, explains in detail the property appeals process. It will be obvious to you why it is so important to have a specialist involved for this process.
We file on average 10 evictions a month as part of our training of tenants. Most of these are resolved but it still costs an average of $100 to file evictions or $150 for a warm body to handle it in court.
In case you forgot, under LLPP you never pay for an eviction as that is part of the LLPP service.
We see a big difference as our educated tenants know that we are inspecting their home three times a year and from our side, the results are overwhelmingly positive. This service is like an umbrella insurance policy on your property and it is proprietary to National ERA Servicing.
Letter of Appeal
- Our tax advisor Jeff will file a Letter of Appeal on your behalf, thus disputing the value listed on the Annual Notice of Assessment. The Letter of Appeal will be filed before the county appeal deadline.
- The county receives and processes the Letter of Appeal submitted by Jeff.
- The county assigns a staff appraiser to review the property and the disputed value.
- The county may issue a response to the property owner. The response acknowledges that a letter of appeal has been received by the county and that the parcel value has been placed under appeal.The county’s staff appraiser reviews the value issued on the Annual Notice of Assessment.
- The county’s staff appraiser reviews the property characteristics, sometimes by visiting the property.
Following a Board of Assessors’ Review
The county will issue one of two possible letters: A “No Change Letter”: This letter indicates that the county has deemed their value to be appropriate. (Jeff) will receive this letter if the county stands by the value listed on the Annual Notice of Assessment). The appeal moves forward automatically; no action is necessary by Jeff at this time.
- A “30-Day Letter”: This letter indicates that the county has revised their opinion of the parcel’s value. (I will receive this letter if the county changes the value of the Annual Notice of Assessment). Jeff will respond to this 30-Day Letter by either accepting the revised value listed on the letter or Jeff will reject the value listed on the letter.
- Accept the Value: Jeff will look at the new value offered by the county. After further research, if we determine the new value is acceptable and fair, then we will accept the new value listed on the letter. After the letter is signed and accepted by the county, the new value becomes the final value that is used for the tax year bill. The appeal is completed.
- Reject the Value Jeff will look at the new value offered by the county. After further research, if we determine the new value is not acceptable and fair, then we will reject the value offered by the county. The appeal moved forward to the next step.
- The appeal process ends if the revised value is not rejected by Jeff within 30 days. This will ensure that your appeal moves forward.Boards of Equalization Hearing—(BOE)
- After the Board of Assessors’ review, the appeal is “certified” to the Boards of Equalization.
- A hearing is then scheduled by the Boards of Equalization to establish a value for the parcel (We have almost no influence on the selection of a hearing date or time).
- The county issues a Hearing Notice to Jeff, typically 3-4 weeks in advance of the hearing date.
- The county’s staff appraiser prepares a case to present at the hearing.
- Jeff prepares a case to present at the hearing.
- The hearing occurs, and the two appraisers present their respective cases.
- Based on the evidence which is presented, the members of the Boards of Equalization (usually a panel of three members) will establish a value for the parcel.
- Within 10 days of the hearing Jeff is issued, by certified mail, a Decision Letter to announce the outcome of the hearing.
After 30 days, the value established by the Boards of Equalization is used to update the county records, unless the property owner wishes to appeal the value further, to Superior Court.
FAQ / Myths
“They lowered my value last year so I will not be successful with an appeal this year”
In some states the assessment of property is mandated yearly. In Georgia, for example, there is a “freeze” placed on the market value after an appeal is settled. This “freeze” in market value is only from an increase in market value. If your property has decreased in value you may still appeal and still get a reduction.
“The assessor will correct my market value if they find that if it is incorrect”
Legislative statute in many states prohibits the assessor from “arbitrarily” changing market values. The value that is placed on your property is assumed to be correct unless you appeal the value. In Georgia the taxing authority must prove their value when that value is appealed.
Final Note from Jeff:
Lower Property Taxes
Fighting local government about your property tax valuation is more complicated than you think and most investors/property owners have neither the time nor the expertise. Most taxing jurisdictions have a complicated and time consuming process that must be followed to ensure the correct valuation is achieved. That is why property owners are encouraged hire a professional like Jeff to review and audit the valuation created by the county.
Most counties use a mass appraisal methodology in their valuation models. There is no conspiracy by the counties in this approach. The methodology simply creates a more favourable cost vs. benefits result. Counties do not have enough resources to review each property and simply use templates to apply to other similar type properties.