Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Heat is On; Tax Appeal

Above is the WSB forecast for the next five days.  I've seen other forecast that say temperatures on Saturday could go as high as 105 degrees (reminds me of my days growing up in the 'burbs of Houston)!  If you plan to be outside, drink as much water as you can - it's virtually impossible to over-hydrate.  The good news is the high temperature for the 4th of July will be about 94 degrees, hopefully no higher than the mid-to-high 80's for the parade.  By the way, the average daily high temperature for this time of year is 88 degrees.

Tax Appeal

Have you filed an appeal for your 2012 property taxes yet?   The deadline is rapidly approaching.   Last week, I had my DeKalb County Board of Equalization hearing for my 2011 tax appeal (no surprise the county is backed up, so don't expect to have your 2012 hearing until late next spring or early summer).  I was over prepared!
The week leading up to my hearing, I spent about three or four hours gathering all the comps, photos, pricing from contractors for improvements, etc. 
My hearing was 1:30pm last Wednesday at the Callaway Building in Decatur.  I arrived at approximately 12:45pm, and was No.9 on the list (actually, I would have been 13 or 14 on the list, but my neighbhor, who was scheduled for her appeal at the same time, signed me up when she arrived at 12:30pm).
At approximately 2:30pm, I was called into the small conference room for my hearing.  In the room were the three Board of Equalization members (non-county employees who are property owners in DeKalb and have received 40 hours of training) and the county appraiser who assessed my property (and is entirely overworked assessing many if not most of the properties in Dunwoody and the surrounding area).
The board asked if I would like to present my case first.  I choose to defer (much better to have the opposition lay its cards on the table first).  At that time, the county appraiser glanced at my paperwork, then thumbed through his and said, "I will accept his value."  He accepted the value I had filed with the county online almost a year prior!  My hearing, which can last up to 15 minutes, was over in less than 30 seconds.  And the appraised value of my property was reduced $52,000.
Bottom line, if you appeal your taxes, set up a hearing and actually appear.  Your chances of getting a reduction are greatly increased.  Just showing up makes all the difference!

What is a stream buffer?

What is a stream buffer, and why should I care?  If you ever plan an addition for your home, or even extend a deck or add a screened porch, knowing the regulations concerning a stream buffer could be very valuable. 
There is an education forum and informational meeting on stream buffers tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Dunwoody City Hall, 41 Perimeter Center East Dunwoody, GA 30346 in the Council Chambers.
The agenda items include: Benefits of Stream Buffers, Stream Buffers as Regulatory Tools to Promote Surface Water Quality, Variance Processes, Types of Streams – Which should be protected with buffers?
There will be a panel of experts as well as an opportunity for questions following the panel discussion.

No comments: