How to Appeal a Property Tax Assessment

Georgia law provides a procedure for filing property tax returns and property tax appeals at the county level.

Taxpayers may file a property tax return (declaration of value) in one of two ways:

  1. by paying taxes in the prior year on their property the value which was the basis for tax becomes the declaration of value for the current tax year (O.C.G.A. 48-5-20), or
  2. by filing a PT-50R, PT50P, PT50A or PT50M return of value between January 1 and April 1. In some counties property tax returns are filed with the county tax commissioner and in other counties returns are filed with the county board of tax assessors. Click here for more information on when and where to file a return in the county.

Click here for more information on filing a property tax return.

The county board of tax assessors must send an annual assessment notice which gives the taxpayer information on filing an appeal on real property (such as land and buildings affixed to the land). If the county board of tax assessors disagrees with the taxpayer’s return on personal property (such as airplanes, boats or business equipment and inventory), the board must send an assessment notice which gives the taxpayer information on filing an appeal.

Upon receipt of this Assessment Notice, the property owner desiring to appeal the assessment may do so within 45 days of the date the Assessment Notice was mailed. The taxpayer’s appeal may be based on taxability, value, uniformity, and/or the denial of an exemption. The written appeal is filed with the County Board of Tax Assessors.

Appeal of Assessment Form PT-311-A

The state of Georgia provides a uniform appeal form for use by property owners. In that initial written dispute, the property owner must declare their chosen method of appeal.

Click here to obtain a copy of the appeal form. In order to protect your appeal rights, do not send this appeal form to the Department of Revenue.

In all instances the appeal is filed with the County Board of Tax Assessors, and if the board of tax assessors has adopted a written policy consenting to electronic service, the taxpayer may email an appeal to the board of assessors.

The taxpayer must select one of the three options below when filing an appeal:

Appeal to the County Board of Equalization: The appeal based on value, uniformity, taxability or denial of exemption is filed by the property owner and reviewed by the board of assessors. The board of assessors may change the assessment and send a new notice. The property owner may appeal the assessment in the amended notice within 30 days. This second appeal made the property owner or any initial appeal which is not amended by the board of assessors is automatically forwarded to the Board of Equalization. A hearing is scheduled and conducted and the Board of Equalization renders its decision at the conclusion of the hearing. If the taxpayer is still dissatisfied, an appeal to Superior Court may be made.

Appeal to a Hearing Officer: The taxpayer may appeal to a Hearing Officer, who is a state certified general real property or state certified residential real property appraiser and is approved as a hearing officer by the Georgia Real Estate Commission and the Georgia Real Estate Appraiser Board, when the issue of the appeal is the value or uniformity of value of non-homestead real property, but only when the value is equal to or greater than $1,000,000. If the taxpayer is still dissatisfied with the decision of the hearing officer, an appeal to Superior Court may be made. Click here for a list of hearing officers published by the Georgia Real Estate Commission and Appraisers Board.

Appeal to an Arbitrator: An appeal of value may be filed to Arbitration by filing your appeal specifying Arbitration with the board of assessors within 45 days of the date of the notice. The Board of Assessors must notify the taxpayer of the receipt of the arbitration appeal within 10 days. The taxpayer must submit a certified appraisal of the subject property within 45 days of the filing of the notice of appeal which the board of assessors may accept or reject. If the taxpayer’s appraisal is rejected the board of assessors must certify the appeal to the county clerk of superior court for arbitration. The arbitration is authorized by the judge and a hearing is scheduled within 30 days. The arbitration will issue a decision at the conclusion of the hearing, which is a final and which may not be appealed further. If the taxpayer’s value is determined by the arbitrator to be the value, the county is responsible for the clerk of the superior court’s fees, if any, and the fees and costs the arbitrator. If the board of assessors’ value is determined by the arbitrator to be the value, the taxpayer is responsible for the clerk of the superior court’s fees, if any, and the fees and costs the arbitrator.

The Department of Revenue may not over-ride the board of assessors, board of equalization, hearing officer, arbitrator or Superior Court regarding individual appraisals and assessments. The Local Government Services Division of the Georgia Department of Revenue is charged with general supervision of ad valorem tax administration across the state including; annual approval of tax digests; the training and certification of tax officials; and regularly scheduled audits of each of the 159 county boards of assessors.

In order to facilitate the mass appraisal process, the Revenue Commissioner has adopted specific procedures through the Appraisal Procedures Manual and other Rules and Regulations regarding tax administration. These procedures are designed to arrive at a basic appraisal value of real and personal property and to provide guidance for the local tax assessors to provide fair market value under normal circumstances. When unusual circumstances are affecting value, they should be considered. In all instances, the appraisal staff will apply Georgia law and generally accepted appraisal practices to the basic appraisal values required by this manual and make any further valuation adjustments necessary to arrive at the fair market values.

For additional information about the appeals procedure in the county, you should contact the board of tax assessors.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

On January 1, 2000, a new law became effective that enhances a taxpayer's rights during the assessment and appeal process.  The law has two main thrusts:

  • prevention of indirect tax increases resulting from increases to existing property values in a county due to inflation,
  • and enhancement of an individual property owner's rights when objecting to and appealing an increase made by a county board of tax assessors to the value of the owner's property.

Appeals to the Superior Court

  • Written notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days to the county board of tax assessors
    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

O.C.G.A. 48-5-311


Property Tax Forms

Click here to download real and personal property tax forms.

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