ACCG APPLAUDS COUNTY OFFICIALS FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO PROPERTY TAX REFORM

HB 202 will provide efficiencies in administering Putnam County property tax

ATLANTA, Ga. (May 6, 2015) – Governor Deal signed HB 202, the major property tax reform legislation for the 2015 session, today. As property tax is a primary revenue source for Georgia’s county governments, ACCG- Georgia’s county association- applauds county officials for their diligent efforts regarding changes to the state property tax law.

“ACCG is grateful for our actively engaged statewide membership, association leadership, and staff throughout the entire legislative process. Their dedicated efforts resulted in the passage of HB 202 that will help improve administrative efficiencies while benefiting local citizens,” said ACCG Executive Director Ross King. “Our association has a total of 15 revenue and finance policy committee platform positions, adopted by our membership, which were addressed by this bill. The ACCG Board of Managers, membership, and legislative staff worked tirelessly for several years to achieve this goal.”

These changes to state law will create greater transparency for the property owner, an expedited and more professional appeals process, and greater administrative efficiencies to reduce costs to the county and taxpayers.  There are a number of ways in which this legislation allows county governments to improve their administrative efficiencies. Through HB 202, counties will now have the option to form a regional appraisal office as opposed to having an appraisal office in each county, send bills and notices electronically with consent of the taxpayer, achieve greater supervision with the Board of Equalization, have a selling price recorded on a real estate form, and reduce the number of appeals that go to Superior Court. Furthermore, counties will now have a published manual for the Board of Equalization, an appeal hearing officer as well as an appeal arbitrator produced by the Georgia Department of Revenue.

“ACCG has worked with the legislature for the past three years to make changes to the laws regarding our state’s property tax system,” said ACCG Legislative Director Clint Mueller. “We are thankful to those who have worked with county elected officials to ensure this reform was realized.”

The provisions in HB 202 that will have a direct benefit to local taxpayers include, but are not limited to, having the option to receive electronic tax bills and notices, receiving a description of the methodology used to value their property, having appeals heard on multiple properties at one time, and having an appeal terminate as soon as a settlement agreement is reached with the Board of Assessors, amongst many others.

ACCG is Georgia’s county association and works on behalf of county officials and their communities by providing public policy and legislative advocacy, leadership development, civic and community engagement initiatives, insurance and retirement programs that specialize in local government needs and other cost-saving programs.  Formed in 1914 when county officials came together to help fund the state’s first highway department, ACCG today serves as a catalyst for advancing Georgia’s counties.  For more information, go to www.accg.org.