Understanding Property Tax Assessments in Fulton and DeKalb County

by | Jul 1, 2024 | Property Division

As a Georgia resident, you may have recently received your property tax assessment for 2024 as have many other residents of Fulton County and DeKalb County.

This important document outlines the county’s determination of your home’s fair market value, which serves as the basis for calculating your annual property taxes. Whether you’re a homeowner, landlord, or real estate investor, understanding the property assessment process is crucial to ensuring you’re paying a fair and accurate amount.

What are Key Details of Your Notice of Assessment

Your Notice of Assessment is a crucial document, and it’s essential to pay close attention to the last date to file an appeal. Missing this deadline means forfeiting your right to contest the assessment. The appeal can be filed online or through regular mail, with online submission recommended for efficiency.

How to Understand Property Assessments in Fulton and DeKalb County 

In Georgia, residential properties are assessed at 40% of their fair market value, as determined by the county appraiser. This means if your home is appraised at $500,000, your assessed value would be $200,000 (40% of $500,000). Fulton and DeKalb Counties arrive at this fair market value by analyzing sales data of similar homes in your neighborhood, as well as properties that may not have sold recently but are comparable in size, condition, and amenities.

It’s important to note that the county assessor rarely conducts an in-person inspection of your property. Instead, they rely on a formula based on the county’s database to calculate the appraised value. If you believe the county has unfairly assessed your property, you have the right to request a field check by the assessor.

How to Calculate Your Property Taxes

Once the county has established your property’s assessed value, they apply a mileage rate to determine your annual tax bill. This mileage rate, which varies by county and can change from year to year, is publicly available on the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website at https://dor.georgia.gov/local-government-services/digest-compliance-section/property-tax-millage-rates.

For example, let’s say your county has a mileage rate of 30 mills (1 mill = $0.001 per dollar of assessed value). If your assessed value is $200,000, your annual property tax would be calculated as follows:

Assessed Value: $200,000

Mileage Rate: 30 mills

Annual Property Tax: $200,000 x 0.030 = $6,000

How to Determine Fair Market Value

When deciding on the fair market value to propose, examine recent sales in your neighborhood. For instance, if your property is valued at $600,000 but a similar house nearby sold for $500,000, use this as a basis for your appeal. Consider the condition of your property compared to others; renovated properties will typically have a higher market value than those needing updates.

The fair market value you request can be amended during the appeal process. Importantly, appealing is often worthwhile because Fulton and DeKalb County cannot raise the value stated on the Notice of Assessment, and the value you secure on appeal is frozen for three years. This provides financial stability, especially in an uncertain economy. 

How to Appeal Your Property Assessment

If you believe your property has been overvalued, you have the right to appeal the assessment. It’s important to act quickly, as there are strict deadlines for filing an appeal, typically 45 days from the date you receive your assessment notice.

When appealing, you’ll need to decide whether you want to pursue arbitration or a hearing before the Board of Equalization. While arbitration is a binding decision, a Board of Equalization hearing gives you the opportunity to present your case to a panel of local community members, and if you’re still unsatisfied, you can further appeal the decision to the Superior Court.

The grounds for your appeal can include:

  1. Fair Market Value: You can argue that the county’s assessment of your property’s fair market value is inaccurate, presenting evidence of recent sales of comparable properties in your neighborhood.
  2. Uniformity: You can demonstrate that your property is valued substantially different from similar properties in the area, indicating a lack of uniformity in the assessment process.
  3. Reassessment: If your property’s value was previously frozen due to a successful appeal, you can argue that the county should not have reassessed it.

When determining the fair market value you’ll request as part of your appeal, look at recent sales of comparable homes and consider any renovations or updates that may have increased or decreased your property’s value. Remember, the value you initially request can be amended as the appeal process unfolds.

The Appeals Process: Step-by-Step

When you decide to appeal, you will need to make several decisions:

  1. Choice of Tribunal: You can choose between arbitration or a hearing before the Board of Equalization (BOE). The BOE is generally recommended as it allows for further appeals if you are unsatisfied with the outcome.
  2. Grounds for Appeal: Your appeal can be based on fair market value, uniformity, or the claim that the property should not have been reassessed.
  3. Requested Fair Market Value: You need to state what you believe the fair market value of your property should be.

Why Choose the Board of Equalization?

Opting for a hearing before the BOE involves presenting your case to a board of three community members, typically retirees who volunteer. If the BOE’s decision is unsatisfactory, you can appeal to the Superior Court. This provides three more opportunities to resolve your case:

  1. Settlement Conference with the County Appraiser: An initial attempt to settle the dispute.
  2. Mediation: If no agreement is reached during the settlement conference, the case proceeds to mediation.
  3. Trial: If mediation fails, a trial before a Superior Court judge will determine the property’s fair market value.

If the court rules that your property’s fair market value is less than 70% of the County’s assessed value, you may be entitled to attorney’s fees. Conversely, if you choose arbitration, the decision is final and cannot be appealed.

Tax Assessment Representation and Strategies

While you can navigate the property tax appeal process on your own, many homeowners and investors choose to work with a representative, such as an attorney or tax consultant, who has experience handling these types of appeals. A knowledgeable representative can use their expertise to build a strong case, navigate the complex procedures, and potentially secure a more favorable outcome.

With eight years of experience representing clients in property tax appeals, Ashley McCartney LLC can provide expert guidance and advocacy to achieve the best possible outcome.

One key pro tip: it’s often worth appealing your property tax assessment, as the county is prohibited from raising the value stated on the original assessment notice. Additionally, if you’re successful in your appeal, the resulting fair market value is typically frozen for the next three tax years. This can provide valuable stability and certainty, even if the local real estate market experiences significant fluctuations.


Navigating the world of property tax assessments in Fulton and DeKalb County can seem daunting, but understanding the process and your rights as a property owner can empower you to ensure you’re paying a fair and accurate amount. By reviewing your assessment notice, gathering evidence to support your case, and potentially seeking professional representation, you can take proactive steps to protect your financial interests and potentially lower your property tax burden.

Remember, the deadline to appeal your 2024 property tax assessment is likely just around the corner, so don’t hesitate to review your notice and explore your options. With the right approach, you can ensure your property is valued fairly and your hard-earned money is being put to the best use.

For more detailed advice and representation, contact Ashley McCartney LLC to help you through every step of the process.


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