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:
- 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),
- 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
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
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
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
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
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.
- 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 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
Property Tax Forms
Click here to download real and personal property
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