This one is for all you homeowners out there in the city as well as the county. We received a reminder that the county wants everyone to know going into this week. The deadline to file an appeal on your property tax assessment is this Thursday July 16 at 5pm. All property owners in Douglas County which includes the city of Douglasville as well as residents in Villa Rica and Austell who have property inside the county lines have received their tax assessment notification by now. Below is the press release from the county giving details of filing an appeal, the deadline and where to go:
***2015 PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEALS ACCEPTED THROUGH JULY 16TH***
The Douglas County Board of Assessors mailed 53,000 notices to property owners in Douglas County in June alerting them to the 2015 fair market appraisal of their real property (house, land, commercial buildings, etc.) Approximately 3,000 additional notices were mailed to owners of personal property (business inventory, business equipment, furnishings, boats, airplanes, etc.) The notices revealed to the owner the 2015 value of their property (as of January 1, 2015) that will be used for taxation purposes by the County and the cities within the County. The notices went to all property owners in Douglas County, including those residing in the cities of Austell, Douglasville, and Villa Rica.
The notices included the fair market value (100% of the property value), and the assessed value (40% of the property value). Taxes will be based on the assessed value (40%) of the property less than any exemptions for which the property owner has qualified (homestead, conservation, Freeport, etc.).
State of Georgia law also provides for a 45-day period during which a property owner can appeal the new 2015 value if desired. The deadline for appeal submission is 5 p.m., Thursday, July 16th, and all appeals must be either in the Appraisal Department office at that time, or have a USPS postmark with a time stamp to be considered. This is a hard deadline set by the State that cannot be modified by local officials. Submittals by fax or e-mail cannot be accepted.
To appeal a value, a property owner can use forms available in the Appraisal Department (first floor, Douglas County Courthouse); on the Appraisal page of the County web site at www.CelebrateDouglasCounty.com; or by simply writing a letter stating that the property owner feels that the stated valuation is too high or too low. The appeal form has a second page that presents questions to the property owner that would be helpful in an appeal, and property owners are encouraged to provide answers and supporting documentation. The property owner can provide independent assessments, comparative property sales reports, and other information to support the appeal request if desired.
Appeal options are identified on the appeal form. Some appeal options involve costs, but a standard appeal does not have a cost. It normally takes about 3 – 6 months for an appeal to be heard and a decision rendered.
Tax bills will be issued by the Douglas County Tax Commissioner in September and the tax payment deadline is normally about mid-November. The tax bills will use the 2015 appraised value of the property and whatever tax millage rate that the appropriate government has set for 2015. If a property owner appeals the valuation, he/she has to pay 85 percent of the amount of the issued tax bill, and any adjustments due to the appeal will be refunded to the property owner when settled.
As of late Friday afternoon, July 10th, 789 appeals had been received by the Appraisal Department.
The Douglas County Appraisal Department may be contacted at 770.920.7228 with questions.
Again, many thanks to Wes Tallon at Douglas County Happenings for sharing this with us.