Friday, May 2, 2014

New law takes aim at tax digests with big appeals

On Tuesday, Gov. Deal signed House Bill 755, a piece of legislation labeled somewhat misleadingly as a forest land market value bill.

HB 755 addresses several issues beyond forest land, including property values and taxation of all real property in Georgia. The law: 1) specifies what portion of taxes are due in cases of pending superior court litigation, 2) prohibits the approval of county tax digests by the commissioner of the state Department of Revenue when more than 5 percent of the assessed value in the digest is under appeal or arbitration, and 3) makes revisions to refunds and interest schedules in cases of over- and under-payment due to settled appeals.

The provision on digest approval essentially revives language (which had a lower threshold amount of 3 percent) that was purged from state law in 2010.

The governor also signed HB 954 on Tuesday which affects a narrower range of values for properties with rent controls or that are eligible for income tax credits.

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