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Georgia Property Tax Updates

UPDATED December 2019

Taxpayers Win Two Year Assessment Freeze Issue

In DeKalb County Board of Tax Assessors v. CWS SGARR Brookhaven, LLC (A19A1541), and DeKalb County Board of Tax Assessors v. WRH Aztec LLC (A19A1618), 2019 Ga. App. LEXIS 639 (October 30, 2019),  the Georgia Court of Appeals held that neither a significant increase in the sales prices of similar comparable properties in the same taxing neighborhood nor a general rise in the value of real estate in a particular neighborhood are statutory exceptions to the two-year assessment freeze provided for in O.C.G.A. § 48-5-299(c). The Court reiterated the permitted statutory exceptions to the assessment freeze which consist of: 1) a taxpayer’s failure to attend the appeal hearing or provide written evidence supporting its opinion of value; 2) the taxpayer filed a return at a different value during the next two years after an appeal; 3) the taxpayer files an appeal during the next two years after an appeal, and 4) if after a visual on-site inspection, it is found that there have been substantial additions, deletions or improvements to the property or that there are errors in the tax assessors’ records in the description or characterization of the property, or the tax assessors find an occurrence of other material factors that substantially affect the fair market value of the property. The Court specifically held that “other material factors” must be factors that an on-site inspection of the property would reveal and that they must be factors that are specific to the particular piece of property at issue.

Lisa F. Stuckey
Ragsdale, Beals Seigler, Patterson & Gray, LLP
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

 

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