ATLANTA, GA – April 30, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Georgia’s property owners triumphed in the General Assembly today with the Georgia House and Senate overwhelmingly passing Senate Bill 346. Championed and authored by Senate Majority Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), the Property Tax Assessment and Appeals reform bill is aimed at ensuring all Georgia properties are properly assessed at Fair Market Value and that property owners have guaranteed rights to appeal. This is the most sweeping overhaul of the Georgia property tax system in decades.
“The overwhelming bi-partisan support in favor of property owners’ rights to fair and transparent assessments clearly demonstrates the need for property tax reform. While this is a huge victory for Georgia property owners, it’s only part of the solution to providing a system that actually works. With the passage of SB 346, we will protect taxpayers from unfair assessments and guarantee the right to appeal,” said Rogers.
The overall reform includes more than 50 changes to current state law. Significant taxpayer friendly provisions include:
- Requirement that every property owner receive annual Notice of Assessment, which guarantees right to appeal
- Every Notice of Assessment must contain estimated property tax
- Expansion of appeal time-period from 30 to 45 days
- Alternative streamlined appeal option for property valued in excess of $1,000,000
- Automatic taxpayer victory on appeals when government fails to respond within 45 days
- Requirement that all relevant sales, including distress sales, be included when determining Fair Market Value
- Requirement that only “current use of property” be used in determining Fair Market Value
- Taxpayer must be given access to all data used in determining Fair Market Value
- Sales price establishes Fair Market Value for next tax year
The House passed the bill today with a vote of 157-1. The Senate passed the bill on March 11 with a vote of 54-0. The Property Tax Assessment and Appeals reform bill was a result of a 2009 study committee on property taxes. A report of the study committee hearings can be found at http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/senate/committeereports.htm.
Sen. Chip Rogers serves as Senate Majority Leader. He represents the 21st Senate District which includes portions of Cherokee and Cobb counties. He can be reached at his office at 404.463.1378 or by email at ">.
Raegan Weber, Director