View the Appeal Form (PDF).
The following information should be included in your written appeal:
- Property ID number
- Your name, address, daytime phone number, and email address
- Reason for appealing (taxability, uniformity, value, or denial of homestead exemption)
- Any pertinent information to support your appeal
- Whether you would like your appeal to be heard by the county Board of Equalization, a Hearing Officer or an Arbitrator (see below for details)
- Personal Property Business or Marine Returns must be completed and submitted with any personal property appeals if the previous year's return was not filed - please see the Appeals Form (PDF) and complete/return it to submit with your appeal.
How to Submit Your Appeal
- By mail:
Board of Tax Assessors
P.O. Box 498
Evans, GA 30809
- By fax:706-312-7476
- By email: Email the Assessor's Office
Types of Appeal
Real Property Appeals
Once the appeal has been filed with the Columbia County Board of Tax Assessors within the time provided, an appraiser will contact the taxpayer to schedule a site visit. The appraiser will need to re-measure and inspect the structure inside and out. At this time the owner should point out any concerns with the structure or land. The Board of Tax Assessors will review the valuation, taxability, or uniformity issues in question and the taxpayer will be notified in writing of the Board's decision. The value may be increased, decreased, or left the same.
Personal Property Appeals
Once the appeal has been filed with the Columbia County Board of Tax Assessors within the time provided, an appraiser will contact the taxpayer, if needed, to discuss the appeal of the business or boat. The Board of Tax Assessors will review the valuation, taxability, or uniformity issues in question and the taxpayer will be notified in writing of the Board's decision. The value may be increased, decreased, or left the same.
Who to Appeal to
The taxpayer must select one of the three options below when filing an appeal.
Appeal to the County Board of Equalization
The appeal based on value, uniformity, taxability, or denial of exemption is filed by the property owner and reviewed by the Board of Assessors. The Board of Assessors may change the assessment and send a new notice. The property owner may appeal the assessment in the amended notice within 30 days. This second appeal made by the property owner or any initial appeal which is not amended by the Board of Assessors is automatically forwarded to the Board of Equalization. A hearing is scheduled and conducted and the Board of Equalization renders its decision at the conclusion of the hearing. If the taxpayer is still dissatisfied, an appeal to Superior Court may be made.
Appeal to a Hearing Officer
The taxpayer may appeal to a Hearing Officer, who is a state-certified general real property or state-certified residential real property appraiser and is approved as a hearing officer by the Georgia Real Estate Commissioner and the Georgia Real Estate Appraiser Board when the issue of the appeal is the value or uniformity of value of a non-homestead real property or wireless personal property, but only when the value is equal to or greater than $500,000. If the taxpayer is still dissatisfied with the decision of the hearing officer, an appeal to Superior Court may be made.
If you are a state-certified general real property or state-certified residential real property appraiser and you are interested in obtaining information about becoming a hearing officer, contact Cindy Mason, Clerk of Superior Court at 706-312-7139.
Appeal to Nonbinding Arbitration
An appeal of value may be filed to Nonbinding Arbitration by filing your appeal specifying Arbitration with the Board of Assessors within 45 days of the date of the notice. The Board of Assessors must notify the taxpayer of the receipt of the arbitration appeal within 10 days. The taxpayer must submit a certified appraisal of the subject property within 45 days of acknowledgment of appeal, which the Board of Assessors may accept or reject. If a certified appraisal is not submitted by the Tax Payer within 45 days shall terminate the appeal unless the taxpayer elects to have the appeal immediately forwarded to the Board of Equalization. If the taxpayer's appraisal is rejected the Board of Assessors must certify the appeal to the county Clerk of Superior Court for arbitration. Once the appeal is certified, the Board of Tax Assessors will send notice of a meeting time and place in which to decide on an Arbitrator. The arbitration is authorized by the judge and a hearing is scheduled within 30 days. The arbitrator will issue a decision at the conclusion of the hearing, which may be further appealed to the Superior Court. If the taxpayer's value is closest to the fair market value determined by the arbitrator, the county shall be responsible for the fees and costs of such arbitrator. If the value of the Board of Assessors is closest to the fair market value determined by the arbitrator, the taxpayer shall be responsible for the fees and costs of such arbitrator.
Appeals to the Superior Court
- Written notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days to the county Board of Tax Assessors - Once a decision has been made by the county Board of Equalization, a Hearing Officer, or an Arbitrator, the taxpayer may appeal their decision to the Superior Court of the county by mailing or filing with the county Board of Tax Assessors a written notice of appeal. The written notice of appeal should be mailed or filed within 30 days from which the decision of the county Board of Equalization, Hearing Officer or Arbitrator was mailed or hand-delivered.
- Ad valorem taxes must be paid - Before the Superior Court can hear an appeal, the ad valorem taxes must be paid in an amount equal to the last year in which taxes were determined to be due. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-29)
- Settlement Conference - Within 45 days of receipt of a taxpayer's notice of appeal to the Superior Court, the county Board of Tax Assessors shall send to the taxpayer notice that a settlement conference in which the county Board of Tax Assessors and the taxpayer shall confer in good faith, shall be held no later than 30 days from the notice of the settlement conference. If at the conclusion of the conference, the parties fail to agree on a fair market value, the county Board of Assessors shall provide written notice to the taxpayer that the filing fees must be paid by the taxpayer to the Clerk of Superior Court within ten days of the date of the conference.
- Notification of Certification of Notice of Appeal to Clerk of Superior Court - Within 30 days of receipt of proof of payment to the Clerk of Superior Court, the county Board of Tax Assessors will certify the notice of appeal and any other papers specified by the person appealing to the Clerk of the Superior Court. The taxpayer or their attorney or agent will be served with a copy of the notice of appeal with the civil action file number assigned to the appeal.
Property Owner Could Recover Court Costs & Fees
If the final determination of value on appeal is 85% or less of the valuation set by the county Board of Equalization, Hearing Officer, or Arbitrator as to any real property, the taxpayer, in addition to the interest provided for in subsection (m) of Code section 48-5-311, shall recover costs of litigation and reasonable attorney's fees incurred in the action. Any appeal of an award of attorney's fees by the county shall be specifically approved by the governing authority of the county.