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Tax assessment notices on way
Official: These are not bills
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Forsyth County News

More information

Appeal process details and other information can be found on the Tax Assessors Office department page at www.forsythco.com or by calling (770) 781-2106.

Most tax assessment notices for Forsyth County property owners will be mailed today.

The state-required notices list the assessed value for the property for tax year 2012, and an estimated tax dollar amount based on the previous year’s millage rate.

“It is important for Forsyth County property owners to realize the assessment notice is not a bill, and that a notice will be sent to all Forsyth County property owners, regardless of whether or not their property was reassessed,” said Chief Appraiser Mary Kirkpatrick in a statement.

Property owners will then have 45 days from the date of the notice to appeal the assessed value. For most, that deadline will be June 18.

Notices for owners of conservation use parcels will be sent out at the end of May, after the tax assessors board has completed reviewing those applications, Kirkpatrick said.

In total, about 77,000 notices will be mailed to property owners, whether the value has gone up, down or remained unchanged.

Of those, 66,064 will show a decrease, 7,551 an increase and the remaining 6,400 or so will not change from the previous year, Kirkpatrick said.

Taxpayers who bought a property in bank or short sales in 2010 “may see quite an increase” based on a state law that took effect last year, she said.

In last year’s property taxes, all 2010 buyers received an assessed value that was the same as the sale price for one year only.

This year, Kirkpatrick said, those assessments will return to the market value, which could be higher than the purchase price for some sales.

Those who bought in 2011 will receive the sale price assessment in this tax year, she said.

The increases for 2010 buyers could affect the number of appeals coming in, Kirkpatrick said, though she expects about 5,000, similar to last year.

Property owners seeking an appeal must note whether they want the matter to be sent to the board of equalization, a hearing officer or be handled in a binding arbitration.

The board of equalization is the lone option that doesn’t have a charge.

Those who want to appeal their property values must submit the appeal in writing.

Filing a property tax return prior is not an appeal. This return informs the Forsyth County Tax Assessors Office about changes in property, to request a value adjustment or to provide any information the assessors may need to arrive at the correct value.