Monday, May 21, 2007

Property Owners Receiving Reassessments From Fulton

Process upon which tax bills figured not related to city’s incorporation

The Fulton County tax assessor’s office recently mailed out 170,000 revaluation notices to property owners across the county, including those in the City of Milton, notifying them of changes in the assessed value of their property upon which their tax bills are based.

Reassessments are meant to keep the fair market value of a property up to date. The Fulton tax assessor’s office conducts reassessments based on a rolling schedule. The recently mailed notices are not related to the City of Milton’s incorporation in any way, although the city does use those figures from the Fulton tax digest to bill its taxes to Milton property owners.

Property owners may appeal their property assessment if they feel it does not accurately reflect the fair market value. Appeals must be made to the Fulton County Board of Assessors; the contact number is 404.224.0102.

If an appeal is filed, the property owner is still required to pay 85 percent of the property tax bill pending a decision on the appeal. Once a decision is made, the property owner should forward a copy of it to the City Treasurer’s office, where the City of Milton’s records will be changed as appropriate per the appeal decision. The current tax bill will be finalized once the changes have been made.

Property taxes are calculated on 40 percent of the property’s fair market value; that amount is known as the assessed value. So, for example, a property with a fair market value of $200,000 would have an assessed value of $80,000.

From the assessed value, all applicable homestead exemptions are subtracted. Milton has a $15,000 basic homestead exemption, which would reduce the assessed value to $65,000. The assessed value is then multiplied by the millage rate set by the taxing entity (city, county, board of education) to determine the amount of property tax owed. A mill equals one dollar of tax for every $1,000 in assessed value. The City of Milton’s millage rate as established by its charter is 4.731 mills – that rate cannot be increased without voter approval in a referendum. Based on the $200,000 property in the example with an assessed value of $65,000 after homestead exemptions, the tax bill would be $307.51 (4.731 x 65).

The city will mail out property tax bills on or before Sept. 1 each year. Payment is due by Oct. 31 each year. For more information, call 678.242.2500.

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