Sticker shock! Here’s how you can appeal your surging property tax assessment

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Georgia homeowners are fighting back after receiving their new annual property tax bills. For many, their bill is dramatically higher than last year. Some homeowners are appealing the new surging costs, and you might be able to, as well.

“I’ve about had it you know. I think if I don’t speak up – you know, like they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease you know. All they can do is say no,” said Lee Gould of Marietta.

His property tax assessment went by nearly $700 and he’s not along.

In Cobb County, some 235,000 homeowners have received their tax annual assessment, but new this year - nearly 170,000 of those homeowners are seeing a dramatic increase in their assessed value of their home. In many instances the assessed value jumped by as much as 20-percent.

“We’re noticing that as we look at sales when you look at calendar year that occurred in 2021 and when you compare them to the sales that occurred in 2020 – there was a tremendous difference,” said Stephen White, director of the Cobb County Assessor’s office.

The real estate market is hot right now. Data from the county show the average yearly home sale price has gone from $345K in 2020 to $396K in 2021. Many homeowners expected an increase in the assessment, but not this much.

“Hopefully we’ll get back an answer we like, but at least we have to try,” said Annice Matechach of Marietta who immediately appealed her assessment.

The assessor’s office said they’ve been flooded with phone calls from concerned homeowners. They county website is also seeing a big jump in web traffic.

You can appeal your tax assessment, but you need to act fast. You have 45 days from when your tax assessment was sent out to appeal your assessment.

The county said the easiest way to appeal is online, but you can also do so by written letter or in person at the assessor’s office.

Like so many others this year, Lee Gould plans to.

“I was like, I was shocked,” said Gould. “For the first time in my life I said to my wife I think I’m going to call and say something about this.”