Many Cobb County homeowners can expect higher tax bills this year due to increase in home values

the sign in front of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners buildingPhoto: Cobb County Courier/Larry Felton Johnson

The Cobb County Tax Assessor’s office recently mailed 235,000 annual assessment notices, and many Cobb homeowners will be unhappy with the results.

Due to the hot 2021 home real estate market, a record number of homes received higher tax valuations, according to a news release posted on the Cobb County website.

The county also posted a video interview between Cobb County Communications Director Ross Cavitt and county Tax Assessor Stephen White.

Almost 170,000 residential property owners saw an increase in their evaluation, and those increases were on average higher than in past years.

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Why did valuations rise so much?

“Because of the real estate market that we see happening right now,” said White in the video interview. “Our goal is to put the fair market value on the property.”

“Where we feel you could sell the home for if you were to put the property on the market as of January one,” he said.

“I think we find that many people, once they see what properties are really selling for in their neighborhood, they’re really startled at some of the sales prices,” White said. “You can do that by visiting our website, cobbassessor.org,” he said. “We have a sales tool on that website that will show you properties that have sold in your neighborhood.”

“You can customize it to the way that you’d like so that you can see what properties are very, very similar to yours,” said White. “And you can get a good idea of what your value should be.”

He said residents can also phone the assessor’s office at 770-528-3100 for help, or make arrangements for an in-person visit.

White said that if you are not a computer person, arrangements can be made to mail the report.

What can I do if I disagree with the evaluation?

You can file an appeal on an increase in valuation.

“But there’s a clock ticking, there is a 45 days from the date that we mail, the notice at the top right hand corner of the notice gives you the deadline date,” White said. “So it’s important for all property owners to know that they have 45 days from the date we mailed the assessment notice to file that appeal with our office or put it in the mailbox on the 45th day.”

He said after the assessor’s office receives the appeal they will send the homeowner a notice verifying they’ve received it.

“And then we’ll start reviewing the information that you have,” White said.

He said the tax assessor’s office would compare sales of comparable homes in 2021, and if the office thinks you are correct, they’ll change the evaluation.

If you don’t agree with their finding, the next step is to appeal to the Board of Equalization. The Board of Equalization is managed by the Clerk of Superior Court.

To listen to the entire 12-minute interview, watch the video below:

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