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Real Property Tax Appeals

Back To ArticlesMathew M. McCoy
May 30, 2014

REAL PROPERTY TAX APPEALS FOR COMMERCIAL OR INVESTMENT PROPERTIES

If you or your clients own commercial or investment property, then now is the time to file a tax appeal. Every owner of commercial or investment property should file a tax appeal every three years to either contest or freeze the fair market value.

County Boards of Assessors are required to deliver Notices of Assessment (“NOA”) to every real property owner. In Chatham County NOAs were delivered in early May. The NOA establishes the fair market value of real property for purposes of taxation and triggers the deadline for filing a tax appeal. Property owners have 45 days from the notice date to file an appeal. If you or your client has not received a NOA, then it is imperative that you contact the Chatham County Board of Assessors to request a duplicate copy.

If the fair market value for 2014 is more than what you or your client believes it is worth, then you should appeal the value to the Board of Equalization. If the fair market value is less than what you or your client believes it is worth, then you should still appeal the value to the Board of Equalization to take advantage of the “three year freeze.” OCGA Section 48-5-299(c).

Georgia Law allows any property owner who appeals its valuation to “freeze” the value for the year in question plus two additional years. This process is much less complicated than an actual appeal and can save you or your clients thousands of dollars. For example, if your client owns property appraised for $1,000,000, but the Board of Assessors has it valued at $800,000, then it would be advisable to file an appeal and freeze the value at $800,000 for 2014, 2015, and 2016. Taking advantage of the “three year freeze” is incredibly important in an accelerating market.

For more information on the tax appeal process, consult with an experienced attorney, log onto the Chatham County Board of Assessors Website boa.chathamcounty.org or email the Board of Assessors at boa@chathamcounty.org.

Mathew M. McCoy is a partner at McCorkle & Johnson, LLP, and Treasurer of the Savannah Bar Association. Mat can be reached at 912-232-6485 or mmm@mccorklejohnson.com. Feel free to call Mat with any questions regarding the tax appeal process.
 

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