Gwinnett Property Taxes

Appeal NOW to Reduce Your Gwinnett Property Taxes

Did the County drastically increase the value of your home in 2016?  Don’t agree with the their assessment of your home’s Market Value or the increase in your Gwinnett Property Taxes?  You only have until the middle of May to get it changed.  The appraised value will not affect anything but your tax bill, so don’t be afraid to ask to have it reduced, even if it is already lower than you think it should be.  You can pay to have your appeal done, but the County has made it very easy to do it yourself.  You will see the step by step instructions below, but with just a few clicks you will be able to ask for a reduction without ever leaving your computer or having to talk with anyone at the County.

1) First things first – find your home’s tax assessment.

If you have misplaced the Annual Notice of Assessment that was mailed earlier this month you can get this information from this County website:

http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/TRRPWeb/AssesmentNoticeEntry.do

Here you can search for your property by Owner Name, Property ID or Mailing Address (don’t put in the state – the number and street should be enough).  If you have lived in your home for a while you should find your property tax history going back to 2012.  Click on the year you want (2016) and you will receive a pdf version of your Annual Notice of Assessment.  This will show what the County believes to be your  2016 property tax “Fair Market Value” and “Assessed Value”.  The Assessed Value will be 40% of your Market Value and is used to calculate your taxes.  Download the 2016 statement.

2) Find surrounding home values and recent home sales

There are several ways to do this…

I – The GIS Data Browser

This is a very powerful took you will find on the Gwinnett County website:

www.gwinnettcounty.com

Select “Top Links” along the top menu bar.  Once the menu drops down select “GIS Data Browser”

Click to accept the conditions and the browser should launch.  If you have problems with the map you might find better results with a different browser.

Play around with the tools until you are able to get a map of your street, zooming in until you see all the parcels.  You can now select the ‘i’ (Information GIS_InfoIcon) tool on the map’s toolbar and then click on your lot to bring up a detail window.  Once you click all the little ‘+’ signs to expand the fields you will find out some very interesting information about your property.  You can also see the official appraised values for any other home in your neighborhood.  Check the values of other homes on your street, making sure you are looking at the ‘appraised’ value.  If yours is at the high end you can use that in your appeal.  Remember, this has nothing to do with what you could sell your home for.  This is just an appraisal for tax purposes.

II – Gwinnett Tax Assessor Website

This website works most of the time and is definitely worth trying.  Access this information at www.gwinnett-assessor.com and click on the “GIS/Property Search” tab on the left hand side.  In the search box that appears type in your address without the city or state and click “search”.  You should see your name listed, and when you click on the link you will be taken to a very detailed report on your property that includes square footage and maybe even a floor plan.  This report should also contain your property and home value over a number of past years. You may be surprised (concerned?) to discover how much the County knows about your home.  Make sure the info is correct!  If it says you have 5 bedrooms and you only have 3 that is important.

Select the “Neighborhood Sales” tab to see the most recent sales near your home, or the “Property Report” tab to generate a pdf version of this information.  Tip:  On the map on the right side of the page you can click on any home and find the same value.  If you plan on actually going to the County to protest your appeal, this info is very important.

III – Zillow

To see a map of your neighborhood with current estimated home prices, along with recent sales, turn to the private sector:  http://www.zillow.com/

Type in your address and you should see your home.  Scroll down and you will see a “Neighborhood” block.  Expand it, select ‘Map’ and you can see other properties.  Homes with a little red dot are for sale, and clicking on them will bring up the listing.  Down near the bottom is another link (Similar homes for Sale) and clicking there will bring up all the listings in your area.  Play with this and you should also be able to see recent sales (indicated with a yellow dot).  You may have to try and get the “Listing Type” tab at the top of the screen and make sure the “Recently Sold” box is checked.  Clicking on one of these yellow homes will give you the sale date and price.  I picked all the homes closest to me that sold within the past two years.  Remember, you can now use foreclosure sales.

Does the assessed value of your home match the selling values of comparable homes in your neighborhood?  Even if it does, you might consider reducing the value by 10%.

3) File the Appeal

Before you file an appeal, please note – If your assessed value for 2016 was established by an appeal decision within the prior 2 years, filing an appeal may jeopardize the “frozen” value of your home.  This may result in an onsite inspection and a new notice of assessment, the value of which may be greater than the initial 2016 value.

The County has made it easy to file an appeal electronically at this website:

http://gwinnettassessor.manatron.com/IWantTo/Forms/RealProperty/PT311A.aspx

Type your property by address (again without the city or state) and find your home listed in the search results.  Select ‘value’ if you simply feel it is assessed to high (for instance, if it says you have more square feet than you actually do) and ‘uniformity’ (if you find other sales or assessments in your neighborhood that are lower than yours) as the grounds for appeal.  Accept the default for where you want the appeal sent (BOE).  Click ‘Continue’ and you will be sent to a screen with the current land and improvement (house) value.  Make the adjustments you feel are accurate and give your reasoning.

Once you hit the final submit button your appeal is filed.  You no longer have to print a document and mail it in.


UPDATE – I received a response on my personal appeal.  They didn’t accept my value, but they did give me a value that was lower than the original.  Enough lower that I will save just over $1,500 on my taxes this year.