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Owners right to appeal property tax assessment
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Property owners in Georgia who feel their property value is less than the appraised value set by the tax assessor has the right under the law to file a taxpayer's return of real property Form PT-50R. This form must be filed before April 1.

The law states your property must be assessed at "fair market value" or "fair and equal value."

This has been established as "what a willing buyer will pay and a willing seller will accept."

On the Form PT-50R, property owners declare what they think is the taxable value of their property. The property tax returns then go through the same course an appeal would, getting reviewed by the tax assessor's staff then by the board of assessors appointed by the board of commissioners.

If you still disagree with the board of assessors you have the right to appeal to the board of equalization who are appointed by the grand jury. If you disagree with the findings of the board of equalization you have the right under the law to appeal to the superior court for a trial by a jury of your peers.

This could prevent many property owners from paying excessive amounts of property taxes next fall if they would take advantage of this little-known, rarely used option to file a residential property tax return Form PT-50R. If you do not file before April 1, 2013, you have no recourse.

Reports have found most property owners are being over assessed. This is confirmed by checking the sales in your area. Many are being sold much less than the assessed value.

Hugh Stowers
Dawson County