You know what they say about real estate: “Location, location, location.” And in case you didn’t know, Briarmoor Road in DeKalb County Georgia is THE bestest location in the whole wide world! And not just because I live there. In a County where the value of the property tax digest has declined by 25% over the last 3 years and 6% in the last year alone, houses on my street have increased in value by an average of 75% just this month. “How can that be?” you ask. “The real estate market is in the crapper, mortgage companies are foreclosing instead of refinancing because of federal subsidies, nobody’s buying any houses and home values in DeKalb County and metro Atlanta are down more than anywhere else in the nation! What’s the secret?”
Apparently the DeKalb County Board of tax assessors has discovered the oil reserves, platinum mines and unicorn farm my neighbors and I have been secretly running all these
Goodness knows how much more they’ll increase our assessments when they find the eternal fountain of cold, crisp beer that flows through all our back yards.
I suppose it’s a good thing that our secret stash of highly desirable real estate has been discovered. While other communities struggle to improve their residents’ home values with boring things like a competent County government and a functioning school system, DeKalb has chosen to raise taxes and spend, spend, spend! Hey, if you had a unicorn farm in your county, wouldn’t you go hog-wild by blowing taxpayer dollars on stupid crap like lawsuits and water parks in celebration? Of course you would!
Now, in the real world, the County is supposed to appraise the fair market value of properties, and then assess taxes on 40% of that fair market value. The problem is that the market hasn’t been very “fair” to the tax appraising, assessing and collecting communities of DeKalb County recently. In fact, the market’s invisible hand has been pimp-slapping DeKalb county property values pretty hard. Just like the rest of metro Atlanta, and Georgia and most of the nation.
But the Board of Assessors in DeKalb refuse to believe in things like markets, invisible hands and reality. The believe in unicorns, and that DeKalb County’s real estate valuations will lead the real estate recovery boom that will happen just as soon as every DeKalb taxpayer wins the lottery and can afford to pay their new, higher taxes.
There’s a boomlet in property tax appeals in DeKalb, and if the tax folks have notified you that you’re also living near an oil well or unicorn farm, you can get the form to file an appeal online at this link. Here’s State Representative Mike Jacobs explaining the process.
You have until July 13 to appeal your assessment, and you should.