• Few weeks left to file property tax appeals

    By: Craig Lucie


    FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Home and business owners only have a few weeks left to file their Fulton County property tax appeals.

    Channel 2's Craig Lucie called more than a dozen attorneys who help people file their appeals, and they say they've been very busy. He also met one man who says his taxes keep climbing when his home value is not.

    "The taxes are all over the place," said Robert Shearin.

    Shearin bought his Roswell home in 2011 and says his taxes have increased by 30 to 40 percent each year.

    "Right now I couldn't possibly sell the home for what they are taxing me," explained Shearin.

    He hired real estate attorney John Clark.

    "Last year and this year we have seen a tremendous increase in calls," said Clark.

    Clark said people can appeal a case online, but they'll have to attend a hearing down the line and deal with a lot of paperwork.  

    "It's like painting your house. Anybody can do it, but it's a long and cumbersome process and the results you get with a professional at the end of the day are usually going to be a lot better than if you try and do it yourself," Clark said.

    Clark says those results can vary.

    "Anywhere from 10 to 20 percent is a good average," said Clark.

    Some cases he has appealed yielded 40 percent in savings.But Lucie asked him if people   should consider appealing.

    "I would appeal it because you get a three-year tax freeze. You don't have to win the appeal to get the freeze," said Clark.

    Many attorneys say the county is not taking into account the recession since they calculate home values with a computer.

    "In my experience, the computer didn't always track falling home values," said Clark.

    And that's why Shearin says everyone needs to take a closer look at the notices that they receive in the mail.

    "I'm hoping 30 percent in savings. I think that'd be more realistic. That's about the difference that I see," Shearin told Lucie.

    Lucie did contact the Fulton County Tax Appraisers Office to get their comment on why some home values are still being taxed too high. We are waiting to hear back.

    For more information and a link to appeal property taxes, click here.

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