2008-08-28 / Front Page

Appeals of Wilkes tax assessments must be received by September 8

Concerned property owners need to be mindful of the deadline to appeal their property assessments. All appeals must be in writing to the Wilkes County Board of Assessors and received by September 8.

According to the Georgia Department of Revenue website, appeals must be based on one or more of the following reasons: 1. taxability - the property is exempt from taxation; 2. uniformity of assessment - values are the same within the same class of property; 3. value - if the county board of tax assessors changed the appraised value of the owner's property this year; and 4. denials of homestead exemption.

The simplest way to appeal is to go to the tax assessor's office and request that an appeal form with the property's information be printed and complete the appeal portion. Property owners may also choose to write a letter, but they must include their map and parcel number and account number from the original assessment they received. It has also been confirmed by the assessor's office that the sample appeal form printed here and also on page 9 of the August 21 edition of The News- Reporter is acceptable for appeal use.

For an appeal to even be considered, it is best for landowners to hand-deliver their appeals to the Chief Appraiser or her office, since regular mail delivery times can vary and the deadline must be adhered to. If you choose to mail your appeal, the address is: Wilkes County Board of Assessors, Room 202, 23 Court St., Washington, GA 30673. Be sure to include a return address and check to make sure it is received by September 8.

All landowners should learn as much as possible about the property tax laws that affect their county ad valorem property taxes. It is the responsibility of property owners to investigate and inquire about possible exemptions and determine if they are eligible.

A useful resource guide entitled "Property Tax Incentives for Georgia Landowners" can be accessed at http://srdc.msstate.edu/02value/ legal/propertytaxincentives.pdf. This informative ninety-two page document was written by Bob Izlar, Director of the Center for Forest Business, and former professors Coleman Dangerfield and David Newman at the Warnell School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia. This guide is as an educational publication. It should not be used as a substitute for expert legal advice and/or advice of a tax professional.

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