The deadline to appeal property tax assessments for 2015 is Monday.
Failure to appeal a property that has an incorrect or too high a value can cause a property owner to pay more than they should in property taxes.
In June, the Liberty County Board of Assessors mailed annual notice of assessment for properties in the county. Georgia law requires that the notices be sent to the last address on record and it gives a property owner 45 days to appeal the proposed value.
The law establishes that when a property owner fails to appeal by the deadline that it is treated as if the value set by the board of assessors is acceptable to the property owner.
It is a good idea for all property owners to review their notices, and if a discrepancy is found or you simply think that the value is too high you should appeal. Too often, property owners ignore or overlook the notice and deadline, and find themselves being billed more in property taxes than they otherwise could have been billed.
Many property owners will not discover until they receive their property tax notice that their taxes have gone up. At this point it is usually too late to do anything about the amount of taxes due.
Shown on the assessment notice are a previous year’s value and a current year value. The property owner should compare the two values and determine if they are satisfied with the value being proposed for the current year. Any increase in the current year value typically creates an increase in your property taxes.
The assessment notice also includes estimated taxes. Some property owners did not understand the importance of the assessment notice and the impact that an increased assessment would have on the tax amount. The estimated tax amount allows property owners to compare their last year tax amount to the tax amount estimated from the new proposed value and the current mill rate. It is easier for some property owners to discover that something has changed by comparing tax amounts as opposed to comparing values.
I and the staff of the Tax Commissioner’s Office will continue to try to help property owners with questions that they may have about their property but the Assessors Office is where you must go to file an appeal, by Monday, or to ask questions about your property in general.
Jones is Liberty County tax commissioner.