Ga. Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Taxpayers in Value Lock-in Case

On October 30, 2019, the Court of Appeals announced its decision in two case concerning the 2-year value lock-in for appealed properties. For many properties, the value established by a property tax appeals locks-in for 2 additional years, giving the taxpayer relief from the time and expense of the appeal process. See OCGA 48-5-299(c). There are several exceptions to the “299c” rule., including substantial renovations or changes to the property.

One metro Atlanta County challenged the 299c rule, contending that they must increase values when supported by market sales to comply with uniformity. The Court of Appeals consolidated the cases of DeKalb Tax Assessors v. CWS SGARR Brookhaven and DeKalb Tax Assessors v. WRH Aztec LLLP. The Superior Court (lower court) found in favor of the taxpayers in both of these cases. 

The Court of Appeals AFFIRMED the lower court rulings, holding that “other factors” substantially affecting the value of the subject property must be factors that an on-site inspection would reveal and must be specific to the subject property. Therefore, changes in market conditions, sales of other properties, and a general rise in the real estate market do NOT constitute “other factors” affecting value and can NOT be the basis of a value change in the 2 years following an appeal.

 Further, the Court of Appeals has ruled that 299c does not violate constitutional uniformity.

 A full copy of the Court of Appeals decision can be found HERE.

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