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.

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