BOARD OF ASSESSORS MAILS NOTICES OF ASSESSED PROPERTY VALUES FOR 2021
(Lawrenceville, Ga., April 23, 2021) – The Gwinnett County Board of Assessors mailed approximately 291,000 Annual Notices of Assessment to residential and commercial property owners today.
State law requires that notices be sent to property owners advising them of the assessed value of their property as of Jan. 1. The Annual Notice of Assessment provides last year’s value, the 2021 value and explains the reason for any change in value from the previous year. Roughly 42 percent of the notices will state that the appraised value was adjusted for market conditions in response to housing values that continued to increase through 2020.
Despite the pandemic, the housing market reflects high demand for housing with a relatively low number of available properties. The Gwinnett County Assessors’ Office uses all data available to value each property conservatively to meet state regulations for accuracy, while at the same time not over-assessing.
The assessment process provides the county, each city and the school board with details about their property base in order to plan for and fund essential services. Therefore, the issuing of Annual Notices of Assessment is a critical early step in the months-long process of collecting essential tax revenues for the school system, county and 16 cities. These revenues, collected later in the year, are a primary funding source for school, city and county operations that include essential services such as police, fire and EMS.
The Annual Notice of Assessment is not a bill, but it does include an estimate of 2021 property taxes. The estimate combines the 2021 property value with the 2020 millage rates and exemptions on file. The 2020 tax rates are used because the 2021 rates for county, cities and schools are not calculated until later in the year. The estimates on the notice do not account for potential changes to fees, such as stormwater, solid waste, streetlights or speed control devices.
Frequently asked questions are printed on the back of the Annual Notice of Assessment for convenience. This information and more is also available on the Board of Assessors’ website at Gwinnett-Assessor.com. Here owners can view and print copies of their Annual Notice of Assessment and research market values as well.
Chief Appraiser Stewart Oliver recommends that property owners review their Annual Notice of Assessment to ensure it accurately represents their property and the fair market value for Jan. 1, 2021. If property owners disagree with the 2021 value, they have 45 days from the date on their Annual Notice of Assessment to file an appeal.
“We look forward to working with property owners and answering their concerns,” Oliver said. “To help resolve appeals, property owners need to include their own opinion of value for Jan. 1, 2021, and provide explanations of their concerns. It is also important to provide accurate contact information. Evidence can be provided as well, such as changes to the property, damage or needed repairs existing before Jan. 1.”
Each year, a small percentage of owners do file appeals, and most people who appeal use the online filing tools on the website for the Assessors’ Office. This allows owners the chance to avoid phone calls when call volumes are high as well as avoid the need to travel to the office and wait in line. By filing online at Gwinnett-Assessor.com, owners are able to maintain social distancing, get a receipt of their appeal and track the status of their appeal online as it moves through the process.
Individuals without computer access can mail a letter of appeal that includes the owner’s name, the property address, the parcel number, an explanation of the appeal and an opinion of value. According to state law, the estimated tax cannot be appealed from this notice. Only the current year’s property value can be appealed, which is why owners should review the notice and consider if the value is a reasonable reflection of the value on Jan. 1, 2021.
Visitors to the Assessors’ Office will speak to a service representative through a video kiosk. This change was instituted to provide the safest means for citizens to receive in-person services and has allowed more staff members to speak directly to citizens in a safe and personalized manner. For any taxpayer wishing to submit an appeal in person, a drop box is available in the hallway outside of the Assessors’ Office.
“We enjoy serving our residents personally,” Oliver said, “but as more citizens prefer online services, we will continue to improve online assistance and tools each year. We are committed to doing everything we can to address questions and concerns and can be reached by phone at 770-822-7200 or by emailing Taxpayer.Services@GwinnettCounty.com.”