Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Legislative update on property tax assessments

Of the half dozen bills affecting property taxes that were still being considered by the Georgia General Assembly during the final days of its 2014 legislative session, only one bill ended up passing both chambers.

House Bill 954 adds some criteria to the calculation of fair market value by tax assessors; specifically, "Rent limitations, operational requirements, and any other restrictions imposed upon the property in connection with the property being eligible for any income tax credits" would be factored into assessments going forward.

The legislation would probably only affect the assessment of certain multi-family dwellings such as rent-controlled or government-subsidized housing units.  The original House bill was slightly amended by the state Senate before final passage to clarify that such property shall not be considered as comparable for assessments and appeals.  (My interpretation of that amendment is that, for example, the owner of a non-rent controlled apartment complex can't use the value of a rent-controlled apartment complex as a comparable property to justify an appeal.)

The bill still needs to be signed by Gov. Deal before it becomes law.  Even if he approves it, I would expect little if any change to Decatur's total tax digest value from this extremely narrow measure.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Decatur property tax bills online

Decatur's property tax bills for the first installment of 2014 are now online at We mailed paper bills last week. If you did not receive your bill in the mail, you can access it online, or call us at 404-370-4100 for us to resend your bill.

Payments can also be made online with a convenience fee equalling 30 cents plus 2.2 percent of the total charges. Payments are processed by PayPal, but you do not have to have a PayPal account to pay online. PayPal will give you the option to select "Don’t have a PayPal account?"  Then you can enter your information and pay by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express. 

Property tax records in Decatur are available online going back to 2009.

If you prefer to mail in your payment, please use the return envelope we enclosed with your bill and include the tear-off remittance coupon with your check. Or just stop by City Hall--we'd like to see you!