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ABOUT US | NEWSROOM | LIVING IN DEKALB | DOING BUSINESS WITH DEKALB | VISITING DEKALB
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  Appraisal Process
Property Appraisal
 
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layout graphic DeKalb County > Property Appraisal>Appraisal Process
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Property Appraisal Department
120 West Trinity Place,
Room 208
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404-371-0841
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Appraisal Process
 

Georgia Law requires that all real estate and tangible personal property be appraised annually at its fair market value.

The DeKalb County Property Appraisal Department utilizes a computer assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) system to store data and calculate real estate, marine, aircraft and business personal property values for assessment purposes. The system is capable of processing market, cost and income data and producing appraised values from each of the three approaches.

Real Estate

It all starts with data. Using a "computer assisted mass appraisal" (CAMA) system, we store data about your property, such as:

  • Zoning information
  • Existing use of your property or limits to its use
  • Existing covenants, conservation use easements, or any restrictions in your deed dedicating the property to a particular use
  • Sales Data: deed date, sale price, type of sale, instrument type, etc. We also consider bank sales, other financial institution owned sales, or distressed sales which may have taken place in your area
  • Building permit data: date issued, amount, type of work, and the date the certificate of occupancy was issued
  • Mapping data, such as dimension changes, new subdivisions, etc.
  • Building Characteristics: an appraiser has visited your property to measure and draw a sketch of your building, determining such features as square footage, fireplaces, heating and a/c, number of bathrooms, detached buildings, pools, etc., and to review your land characteristics
  • And any other existing factors we deem pertinent in arriving at your fair market value

Everything in property tax hinges on the date January 1. Whatever the ownership, use, and condition of the property are on January 1 of each year is how it is appraised for that tax year. We are gathering all of the above data all year long. Any changes to any of this data which happen during the calendar year will become effective January 1 of the next calendar year.

    Example 1: Mary Smith owns a property, but sells it to Jane Doe on February 1, 2013. Mary Smith is the owner of record January 1, 2013, but Jane Doe will be the owner of record January 1, 2014.

    Example 2: John Smith's house burns to the ground and is demolished on October, 2013. Effective January 1, 2014, his property will be appraised as land only. The reverse is also true: if the property was vacant on January 1, 2013 but a house is built later in the year, the property will be assessed for land and building effective January 1, 2014.

Georgia law requires that we appraise your property at its fair market value. There are three approaches to determining this value: Cost, Market, and Income.

Using the cost approach, we compile all of the data we have collected on your property, and using our CAMA system, we calculate a replacement cost (new) for each major structure. We subtract any accrued depreciation, we add miscellaneous improvements (pools, detached out buildings, etc.), and we add your land value, to arrive at an appraised value.

A big part of appraising residential property is looking at recent real estate sales, or the market approach to value. After we have updated all changes to our existing data, we conduct sales ratio studies. In this process we compare sale prices of recent sales to our fair market values. If the market indicates that our values are too high, we will lower the fair market value. If the market indicates that our values are too low, we will raise the fair market value.

For commercial property or income producing property, in many instances we use the income approach to value, by requesting income and expense reports, rent rolls, and other information from property owners.

After we have recorded all changes to existing data, completed our sales ratio studies, and reviewed all Real Estate Property Tax Returns received, the appraisal staff will present to the Board of Tax Assessors (BTA) our current year proposed values. Once the BTA approves the values we produce our Annual Assessment Notices and mail them to the property owners. This process usually takes place by late May of each year. When you receive your Annual Assessment Notice you will have 45 days from the Date Notice Mailed (on the Notice) to file an appeal. Click here for more information on the appeal process.

Business Personal Property

Georgia statutes and regulations require that all aircraft, boats, and tangible business personal property (furniture, fixtures, equipment, inventory, leaseholds. etc.) be reported annually. Business personal property used or located in DeKalb County should be reported on a "PT50P Business Personal Property Tax Return".
- Click here to download a form.

Statutes require that a value be determined even if the owner fails to file a BAR or return of value. Failure to file timely subjects the owner to possible penalties, loss of depreciation, and exemptions, if applicable.

Freeport Exemptions for manufactured goods and items destined for shipment to a final destination outside the State of Georgia may be available. This exemption requires an annual timely application to receive full or partial benefits. Freeport is separated into three categories:

  1. Raw Materials and Goods in Process
  2. Finished Goods
  3. Out of State Shipments

Click here to download a Freeport Application.

 
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