Main Menu

2015

10/27/15

Southeast Property Tax News

Four of FSSR clients speak at the 2015 ICSC Southeast conference. You can find them in the "Property Management - Putting out the Next Fire" panel linked below.

See them here: ICSC


10/7/15

General appeal and return deadlines for First Quarter 2016:

December 31, 2015 – 2016 Alabama personal property deadline

January 30, 2016 – 2016 North Carolina personal property deadline

March 1, 2016 – 2016 Tennessee personal property deadline

LOCAL NEWS BY STATE

FLORIDA

Appeals are currently in progress. Your 2015 tax bills will be issued November with early payment discount at 4% if paid by the end of November, 3% by end of December, 2% by end of January, 1% by end of February and deadline to pay base amount of taxes for 2015 is March 31, 2016.

SOUTH CAROLINA

At this time of year, majority of tax bills have been issued. Current appeal deadlines are open for Greenville County until November 19, Dorchester November 23 and Charleston County until December 23. Tax bill due dates are January 15, 2016 in most Counties. Cities vary based on issuance. Assessment Cycles run on a 5 year cycle depending on the jurisdiction.

NORTH CAROLINA

At this time of year, majority of tax bills have been issued. Tax bill due dates are typically January 5, 2016 in most Counties. Cities vary based on issuance. Assessment cycles run from 4-8 years depending on the jurisdiction.

ALABAMA

At this time of year, tax bills are being issued and are forthcoming. Due date on taxes in AL is December 31, 2015.

TENNESSEE

At this time of year, tax bills are being issued and are forthcoming. Due date on taxes in TN is February 29, 2016 with the exception of a few Cities.

GEORGIA

In most jurisdictions the tax bills have been issued and you should be in the process of paying them. Some of the metro cities are in the process of mailing bills and those will be forwarded for payment. For tax year 2015 most of our metro counties are ahead of their normal historical appeal cycles and they are currently starting Board of Equalization (BOE) hearings, which should wrap up 2015 sooner rather than later. As you may recall from past years historically appeals lapse over into the next year so we are pleased with the new developments. Once they have a hearing set they will mail you a copy which will include the date and time of the hearing, so please send us a copy when received. We have been sharing information with the County and once the hearing is set we will be communicating with the County appraiser assigned to the case and will attempt to work out a number prior to that hearing. If not we will then present our argument to the BOE and the County will present their case and the BOE will make a decision. Once the decision is received and if the decision is not acceptable we then have 30 days in which to file the decision on to the Fulton County Superior Court, which requires the use of an attorney. Once the case is filed we then will have another chance to have a pre-trial mediation hearing to see if there is room for a change. If no relief is offered during the mediation the next step would be to actually go to trial. You would need a very strong case to proceed on to trial, but just wanted to give you the steps involved.

As you are aware GA law was changed several years ago forcing Counties to give strong consideration to an individual sale price as prima facie evidence of the tax value of a property without regarding to uniformity and equity. This was done in times when sales were falling, consequently, Counties are continuing to adhere to this mandate in times of rising sales.

In addition House Bill 202 was passed in the 2015 legislative session and there are several taxpayer friendly provisions, including the elimination of the County’s ability to assess appeal interest starting in 2016 as well as an expansion of the hearing officer appeal procedure. Sections that are not as taxpayer friendly are specific and defined exclusions from 299C, including non-appearance at a BOE appeal hearing by the taxpayer and/or their agent.

What this means for your GA school taxes - County school systems are also tied to millage/tax rate caps and, due to rising costs and enrollment, the schools, who have seen their revenue cut dramatically in the past several years by the State are pressing Counties to reappraise again and start capturing the market value growth that has occurred since the days of the Great Recession.

Be aware for future:

There are possible legislative challenges to the uniform and equitable application of property taxes in GA looming in the General Assembly, effective in the 2016 session.

Many Counties are now seeing their overall sales to assessment ratios fall below acceptable state levels and are now gearing up for 2016 reappraisals which will serve to bring tax values back up to pre-recession levels.

Make note, due diligence matrixes have changed due to the Counties being forced to give stronger consideration to sales prices as evidence of value, i.e. old parameters such as 80-85% of the sale price, etc are no longer valid and should not be used in such analyses.

Especially in the Metro Atlanta area, there is a strong push to create even more independent Cities and those Cities have millage/tax rate caps thus they are now pushing Counties, who assess property in their behalf, to follow the market and start to increase tax assessments again. This will allow the Cities to continue with their revenue growth.

Tax Billing Procedures

GA law now allows payment of 100% of the tax bill even if the property is under appeal with the taxpayer earning 1% interest per month on any subsequent refund up to a $5000, per taxing jurisdiction, cap. This is now the preferred choice of billing statewide as it eliminates the supplemental tax bill situation and also eliminates that possibility of the County also assessing the 1% interest per month on the supplemental tax bill.