2014 Georgia Code
§ 48-5-306 - Annual notice of current assessment; contents; posting notice; new assessment description

GA Code § 48-5-306 (2014) What's This?

(a) Method of giving annual notice of current assessment to taxpayer. . Each county board of tax assessors may meet at any time to receive and inspect the tax returns to be laid before it by the tax receiver or tax commissioner. The board shall examine all the returns of both real and personal property of each taxpayer, and if in the opinion of the board any taxpayer has omitted from such taxpayer's returns any property that should be returned or has failed to return any of such taxpayer's property at its fair market value, the board shall correct the returns, assess and fix the fair market value to be placed on the property, make a note of such assessment and valuation, and attach the note to the returns. The board shall see that all taxable property within the county is assessed and returned at its fair market value and that fair market values as between the individual taxpayers are fairly and justly equalized so that each taxpayer shall pay as nearly as possible only such taxpayer's proportionate share of taxes. The board shall give annual notice to the taxpayer of the current assessment of taxable real property. When any corrections or changes, including valuation increases or decreases, or equalizations have been made by the board to personal property tax returns, the board shall give written notice to the taxpayer of any such changes made in such taxpayer's returns. The annual notice may be given personally by leaving the notice at the taxpayer's dwelling house, usual place of abode, or place of business with some person of suitable age and discretion residing or employed in the house, abode, or business, or by sending the notice through the United States mail as first-class mail to the taxpayer's last known address. The taxpayer may elect in writing to receive all such notices required under this Code section by electronic transmission if electronic transmission is made available by the county board of tax assessors. When notice is given by mail, the county board of tax assessors' return address shall appear in the upper left corner of the face of the mailing envelope and with the United States Postal Service endorsement "Return Service Requested" and the words "Official Tax Matter" clearly printed in boldface type in a location which meets United States Postal Service regulations.

(b) Contents of notice.

(1) The annual notice of current assessment required to be given by the county board of tax assessors under subsection (a) of this Code section shall be dated and shall contain the name and last known address of the taxpayer. The annual notice shall conform with the state-wide uniform assessment notice which shall be established by the commissioner by rule and regulation and shall contain:

(A) The amount of the previous assessment;

(B) The amount of the current assessment;

(C) The year for which the new assessment is applicable;

(D) A brief description of the assessed property broken down into real and personal property classifications;

(E) The fair market value of property of the taxpayer subject to taxation and the assessed value of the taxpayer's property subject to taxation after being reduced;

(F) The name, phone number, and contact information of the person in the assessors' office who is administratively responsible for the handling of the appeal and who the taxpayer may contact if the taxpayer has questions about the reasons for the assessment change or the appeals process;

(G) If available, the website address of the office of the county board of tax assessors; and

(H) A statement that all documents and records used to determine the current value are available upon request.

(2) (A) In addition to the items required under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the notice shall contain a statement of the taxpayer's right to an appeal and an estimate of the current year's taxes for all levying authorities which shall be in substantially the following form:

"The amount of your ad valorem tax bill for this year will be based on the appraised and assessed values specified in this notice. You have the right to appeal these values to the county board of tax assessors. At the time of filing your appeal you must select one of the following options:

(i) An appeal to the county board of equalization with appeal to the superior court;

(ii) To arbitration without an appeal to the superior court; or

(iii) For a parcel of nonhomestead property with a fair market value in excess of $1 million, to a hearing officer with appeal to the superior court.

If you wish to file an appeal, you must do so in writing no later than 45 days after the date of this notice. If you do not file an appeal by this date, your right to file an appeal will be lost. For further information on the proper method for filing an appeal, you may contact the county board of tax assessors which is located at: (insert address) and which may be contacted by telephone at: (insert telephone number) ."

(B) The notice shall also contain the following statement in bold print:

"The estimate of your ad valorem tax bill for the current year is based on the previous year's millage rate and the fair market value contained in this notice. The actual tax bill you receive may be more or less than this estimate. This estimate may not include all eligible exemptions."

(3) The annual notice required under this Code section shall be mailed no later than July 1; provided, however, that the annual notice required under this Code section may be sent later than July 1 for the purpose of notifying property owners of corrections and mapping changes.

(c) Posting notice on certain conditions. In all cases where a notice is required to be given to a taxpayer under subsection (a) of this Code section, if the notice is not given to the taxpayer personally or if the notice is mailed but returned undelivered to the county board of tax assessors, then a notice shall be posted in front of the courthouse door or shall be posted on the website of the office of the county board of tax assessors for a period of 30 days. Each posted notice shall contain the name of the owner liable to taxation, if known, or, if the owner is unknown, a brief description of the property together with a statement that the assessment has been made or the return changed or altered, as the case may be, and the notice need not contain any other information. The judge of the probate court of the county shall make a certificate as to the posting of the notice. Each certificate shall be signed by the judge and shall be recorded by the county board of tax assessors in a book kept for that purpose. A certified copy of the certificate of the judge duly authenticated by the secretary of the board shall constitute prima-facie evidence of the posting of the notice as required by law.

(d) Records and information availability. Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 50-18-71, in the case of all public records and information of the county board of tax assessors pertaining to the appraisal and assessment of real property:

(1) The taxpayer may request, and the county board of tax assessors shall provide within ten business days, copies of such public records and information, including, but not limited to, all documents reviewed in making the assessment, the address and parcel identification number of all real property utilized as qualified comparable properties, and all factors considered in establishing the new assessment, at a uniform copying fee not to exceed 25 cent(s) per page; and

(2) No additional charges or fees may be collected from the taxpayer for reasonable search, retrieval, or other administrative costs associated with providing such public records and information.

(e) Description of current assessment. The notice required by this Code section shall be accompanied by a simple, nontechnical description of the basis for the current assessment.

(f) The commissioner shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the administration of this Code section.

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