If you recently got a property tax bill in Dawson County, chances are that you owe a bigger chunk of change compared to last year.
Among Dawson County residents and landowners, 82 percent saw a rise in residential property value, with that increase being an average of 19.8 percent.
Individual homes or residential improvement values rose an average of 21.5 percent, Kelly McCormick said in an email to the DCN.
McCormick Solutions assists Dawson County’s tax assessor’s office with analytics and revaluation details.
Houses in both the current and previous tax years are 100 percent complete, so people are looking more at market increase and less at new construction.
While the average is an overall increase, it does include all improved properties. Many of those properties that did not increase were vacant, McCormick added.
The county sent out annual property tax assessments May 10 via a third-party vendor. People can appeal their assessment notices until June 24, 2022.
This trend in rising values comes in the context of an ongoing housing shortage, increased demand and permits not keeping up with the demand, as a presenter mentioned at the latest Board of Commissioners work session.
Dawson County is the third fastest-growing county in Georgia, according to the U.S. 2020 Census. Bordering Dawson are the state’s other top five fastest-growing counties, Forsyth, Cherokee, Hall and Pickens.
Dawson County’s Tax Assessor webpage provides some more insight into the property assessment process.
Property taxes are determined as an ad valorem tax or according to value. Another key factor in your bill is the tax rate, or millage. A one-mill tax rate means a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value.
As reported previously in DCN, the Board of Commissioners set the county’s millage rate at 7.625, while the Board of Education set theirs at 15.
Both the BOC and BOE rolled back their tax rates last fall. However, if rates are rolled back but property values increase, that could mean each entity would receive more tax revenue, as is the case with Dawson County.
Property taxes are charged against the owner of the property on January 1, and against the property itself if the owner is not known. Property tax returns are to be filed between January 1 and April 1 with the county tax assessor's office.
How to appeal
People can appeal their assessments by completing the appeal form at https://www.dawsoncounty.org/taxassessor/page/appeal-information and submitting it in one of two ways:
Mailing the form to Dawson County Tax Assessor, 25 Justice Way, Ste. 1201, Dawsonville, GA 30534;
Bring the form to their office in person.
After receiving the assessment notice, a property owner can appeal within 45 days of receipt–in this case, June 24, according to the tax assessor’s website.
An appeal must be filed by the date and cannot be filed after that time. An owner should not base their complaint on the amount of taxes levied on the property, the website stated.
That appeal is then filed with the county’s Board of Tax Assessors, who then reviews it. For this part, a county property appraiser will visit the property to review it and verify recorded information.
Following this review, the board tells the taxpayer of its decision. If the board makes no changes, an appeal would automatically be sent on to the county’s Board of Equalization. That board then schedules and conducts a hearing to render a decision.
A taxpayer still in disagreement with the assessment may appeal to the Superior Court, an arbitrator or hearing officer. The Board of Tax Assessors has more details about this procedure.