Property Tax Bills Are Coming!

Property Tax Bills Are Coming! Are you prepared to pay your property tax bill on your Hamilton Mill subdivision home or do you plan to appeal your assessment?

When the property tax bills land in your mailbox around the first part of June, you may be surprised at the new assessed value of your home and then try to scramble to appeal your assessment.  Over the past five years, Matt Hermes, a Hamilton Mill resident and local real estate expert has provided free information of comparable sales in order for Hamilton Mill homeowners to appeal their tax bills. Once again in 2015 they will be offering this service but you may want to start prepa2015-01-14_1533ring your appeal ahead of time.

Earlier this month John Adams, a local expert in tax assessments,  stopped by Fox 5's, Good Day Atlanta and explained more on the appeal process and what you can do to help yourself and possibly save some money on your assessment and provided some excellent insight for those living in Gwinnett County and Hamilton Mill in Dacula, Ga.

John made plenty of very important points for home owners. He noted that in Georgia, our property tax is an AD VALOREM tax, meaning each owner pays his fair share based on the appraised value of that property on January 1.

Your local tax assessor is responsible for determining that value. Typically, a valuation does not happen every year, and because of the recent decline of housing prices, a review of value may save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars.

However, it is YOUR responsibility to take control of the process for 2015.

There is absolutely no relationship whatsoever between the assessed value for property tax purposes and the real market value of the property. While all of us want our homes to be worth as much as possible, you needn't worry that a low assessment will hurt your selling price should you later decide to sell.

Beginning on January 1, 2015, every owner has the opportunity to file a TAXPAYERS RETURN of PROPERTY with the Tax Assessor of the county where the property is located. This form simply notifies the assessor of your opinion of the value of the property in question on January 1, 2015. The form is known as “Georgia PT-50R” and can be found on my website at Money99.com. It should only take about ten minutes to fill out.

Your estimate of value should be based on sales of comparable homes which occurred during the twelve month period between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. If possible, find at least three sales which are similar in age, style, and size to yours and have the same bedroom and bathroom count. Finally find those that are located within a mile of your home.

John noted also to make sure your estimate of value for 2015 is lower than the assessed value assigned for last year. Because this is simply your estimate of value, you don't have to be able to back it up with data. Filing the form simply tells the county you want them to re-examine their estimate of value before they propose a valuation for 2015 later this year.

Your completed Georgia Form PT-50R should be mailed or hand delivered to the local Board of Tax Assessors by April 1, 2015. While personally delivering the form is the best choice, the sooner you do it, the better your odds of gaining the attention of a real person at the assessor's office.

For your best chance of success, my advice and John's is to file your return during the month of January.

Some counties, like Gwinnett, allow you to file your FORM online. However, the safest method of filing is to hand it to the assessor and get a receipt. Submitting that paperwork tells the county you want them to review 2014 sales data before they calculate a proposed valuation for 2015.

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