Want to appeal your 2017 property tax assessment?
Well, today is the deadline for filing your paperwork.
This year’s appeals process has been particularly hectic because of unprecedented tax increases. So it’s best to get there early.
To file an appeal, you must fill out the form included in your tax assessment and submit it to the Board of Tax Assessors for review. Today appeals can be filed from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tax Assessors Office located in the Citizens Service Center, 3111 Citizens Way.
If you’re dissatisfied with the conclusion, you can go before the Board of Equalization, which will listen to both sides and make a determination. If that doesn’t work, you can appeal to the Superior Court of Muscogee County, where you will have the option of a jury trial to determine the value of your property. That option requires a fee.
Why are there so many tax increases this year?
Many are the result of a countywide reassessment that tax assessors conducted in conjunction with a software conversion project. About 46 percent of the parcels increased in valuation, some as high as 1,000 percent.
Many of those affected are residents in the Midland/Panhandle area who own larger lots. Since the Homestead Exemption only covers up to two acres, tax assessments have increased for many of those property owners.
Others affected are investors with rental properties in areas like South Columbus.
Columbus Council passed a resolution last week, asking tax assessors to roll back valuations to 2016 levels. The Board of Tax assessors is expected to consider the issue Monday, but Board Chairman Chester Randolph told the Ledger-Enquirer that a rollback is highly unlikely.
Under Georgia code, the State Revenue Commissioner cannot approve the digest when 8 percent or more of the assessed value in dispute is on appeal and 8 percent or more of the number of properties is on appeal. The Muscogee digest approval would be jeopardized if the number of appeals reaches 5,548 parcels.
Deputy Chief Appraiser John Williams said there were 4,905 appeals filed as of Wednesday, which is 7 percent of the number of notices that were sent out. He said 1,485 of the cases had been reviewed by tax assessors, and a recommendation was made.
“The 8 percent of the number of appeals filed, we probably will reach that 8 percent threshold,” he said. “But there’s a second 8 percent threshold, which is the value in dispute. And I personally don’t think we’re going to reach that. Right now that’s at 1.6 percent.”
If you need to file an appeal
Where: Tax Assessors Office located in the Citizens Service Center, 3111 Citizens Way
Time: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Need to bring: Filled-out form included in your tax assessment