Contact
Vicki Lambert
Director
4125 Welcome All Road
Suite 701
Atlanta GA 30349
Phone: 404-724-7000
Fax: 404-724-7011
Email: local.government.services@dor.ga.gov
Biography

Digest Compliance
(404) 724-7003

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(404) 724-7008

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(404) 724-7004

Unclaimed Property
(855) 329-9863

Our Mission
Local Government Services Division
Review of County Digests
Review of County Digests

Digest Evaluation Cycles

Approval of Digests

Digest Appeals

Review of County Digests

The purpose of the digest review procedure is to equalize county property tax digests between and within the counties.  This procedure is designed to require the county boards of tax assessors to make adjustments in the valuation of property to ensure uniformity and equity.  The Revenue Commissioner can use any reasonable measure in order to accomplish uniformity  O.C.G.A. 48-5-340

Click here to view table on digest review status.

Definitions

  • 1. assessment bias - any tendency or trend of assessment ratios, when analyzed by an appropriate statistical method, which reveals assessment progressivity or assessment regressivity.
  • 2. assessment progressivity - any systematic pattern of assessment in which higher value properties are generally assessed at a larger percentage of fair market value than properties of lower value.
  • 3. assessment ratio - the fractional relationship the assessed value of property bears to the fair market value of the property.
  • 4. assessment regressivity - any systematic pattern of assessment in which lower value properties are generally assessed at a larger percentage of fair market value than properties of higher value.
  • 5. assessment variance - the absolute value of the difference between the assessment ratio for each parcel of property within each class of property and the average assessment ratio for that class and expressed as a percentage of the average assessment ratio.
  • 6. class of property - any reasonable divisions of homogeneous groups of property that the Revenue Commissioner determines are necessary to examine digests for uniformity and equalization.
  • 7. digest evaluation cycle - a recurring period of three years beginning initially on January 1 of the first year, as so designated by the Revenue Commissioner for each county, and ending on December 31 of the third year thereafter.
  • 8. digest review year - the first year of each evaluation cycle for each county  O.C.G.A. 48-5-341

Digest Evaluation Cycles

Each year the Revenue Commissioner is required to examine the tax digests of every county and to determine the overall average assessment ratio for the county. 

One-third of the counties' digests are examined in their digest review year by the Revenue Commissioner and either approved or conditionally approved by August 1 of the next tax year.  The digest of the counties are examined to determine if the valuations are uniform and equalized in comparison to the valuations of other counties.  The Commissioner will also determine if valuations are uniform and equalized within the county.

The county digests that were conditionally approved in the previous digest review year are carefully examined to determine if the deficiencies from the previous digest review year were corrected. 

Evaluation Cycle for Each County

The digest evaluation cycle for each county is designated by regulation.  For tax years beginning January 1, 1992, and later, the starting date of the digest evaluation cycle for each county will be as follows:

January 1, 1992, and every third January 1 thereafter for the following counties:

 

Atkinson
Bacon
Baker
Baldwin
Barrow
Bibb
Bulloch
Carroll
Chattahoochee          
Cherokee
Clarke
Clinch
Coffee
Dougherty
Emanuel
Fannin
Fayette
Franklin

Fulton
Gilmer
Glascock
Glynn
Gordon
Greene
Hall
Haralson
Irwin
Jasper
Jenkins
Johnson
Lumpkin
McIntosh
Meriwether
Murray
Muscogee
Newton

Oglethorpe
Paulding
Peach
Pickens
Pike
Putnam
Randolph
Screven
Stewart
Sumter
Tattnall
Tift
Toombs
Turner
Twiggs
Union
Wheeler

January 1, 1993, and every third January 1 thereafter for the following counties:

 

Bartow
Bleckley
Brooks
Calhoun
Candler
Chatham
Chattooga
Cobb
Colquitt
Cook
Crawford
Dawson
Douglas
Early
Echols
Effingham
Forsyth
Grady

Gwinnett
Habersham
Harris
Hart
Henry
Houston
Jones
Lamar
Lanier
Laurens
Lee
Liberty
Lincoln
Long
Lowndes
Macon
Madison
Marion

McDuffie
Monroe
Montgomery
Pierce
Polk
Rockdale
Spalding
Taliaferro
Terrell
Treutlen
Upson
Ware
Warren
Wayne
Wilcox
Wilkes
Worth

January 1, 1994, and every third January 1 thereafter for the following counties:

 

Appling
Banks
Ben Hill
Berrien
Brantley
Bryan
Burke
Butts
Camden
Catoosa
Charlton
Clay
Clayton
Columbia
Coweta
Crisp
Dade
Decatur

DeKalb
Dodge
Dooly
Elbert
Evans
Floyd
Hancock
Heard
Jackson
Jeff Davis
Jefferson
Miller
Mitchell
Morgan
Oconee
Pulaski
Quitman
Rabun

Richmond
Schley
Seminole
Stephens
Talbot
Taylor
Telfair
Thomas
Towns
Troup
Walker
Walton
Washington
Webster
White
Whitfield
Wilkinson

O.C.G.A. 48-5-342, O.C.G.A. 48-5-342.1

Approval of Digests 

A county’s digest is approved in their digest review year if the digest meets the following criteria:

  • 1. The average assessment ratio for each class of property shall be reasonably close to the assessments provided for in O.C.G.A. 48-5-7 which is a 40% assessment for most real and personal property.
  • 2. The average assessment variance for each class of property shall not be excessive.
  • 3. The assessment ratios of the properties shall not reveal any significant assessment bias.

See Official Rules and Regulations 560-11-2-.56 for the specific statistical tests that the county digest must meet.

The Revenue Commissioner can approve the county’s digest if 10 percent or less of the assessments do not meet uniformity requirements  O.C.G.A.48-5-343

Conditional Approval of Digest

If the county’s digest does not meet uniformity requirements the Revenue Commissioner will conditionally approve the digest and notify the county board of tax assessors in writing of the decision.  The written notification will contain:

  • 1. A list of specific reasons for the digest being conditionally approved,
  • 2. A list of the statistical methods used in the determination, and
  • 3. Any other information that would be helpful to the county board of tax assessors to correct the deficiencies  O.C.G.A. 48-5-344

If the Revenue Commissioner determines that the county’s digest meets all conditions required by law, the Commissioner will issue a receipt for the digest and enter an order authorizing the use of the digest for the collection of taxes.

But if it is determined that the overall average assessment ratio deviates substantially from the assessment required by O.C.G.A. 48-5-7, the Revenue Commissioner shall assess against the county governing authority additional state tax in an amount equal to the difference between the amount the state’s levy, as prescribed in Code Section 48-5-8, would have produced if the digest had been at the proper assessment ratio and the amount the digest that is actually used for collection purposes will produce  O.C.G.A. 48-5-345

Conditional Approval in the Next Digest Review Year

If a county’s digest contained deficiencies and was conditionally approved one year and those same deficiencies still are uncorrected in the next digest review year, the Revenue Commissioner will assess the county governing authority a penalty of $5.00 per taxable parcel of real property and the withholding of state grants to the county. O.C.G.A. 48-5-346

Digest Appeals

The local governing authority can appeal the conditional approval of their digest to the Revenue Commissioner through a hearing officer.  Hearing officers are appointed by the State Board of Equalization from the congressional districts located in the county  O.C.G.A. 48-5-348

The local governing authority can file an appeal within 30 days of receipt by the board of tax assessors of the Revenue Commissioner’s conditional approval or assessment of additional state tax of the digest.  The Revenue Commissioner is authorized to enter into an agreement with the county to specify a plan to correct the deficiencies on or before the next digest review year, and to partially or wholly defer the penalties imposed and the withholding of state grants.

The hearing officer will set a date to hear the appeal within 10 days of receipt.  Additional hearings may be necessary.  A copy of the decision of the hearing officer will be issued in writing to each party within ten days after the issuance of the decision. O.C.G.A. 48-5-349.2

If the Revenue Commissioner or the county governing authority is dissatisfied with the decision of the hearing officer, either party can appeal to the superior court of the county.  O.C.G.A. 48-5-349.3

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