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Georgia Bill Addresses Virtual Hearings and
Appeal Costs

by Paul Miller, Atlanta, July 2020

 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Georgia General Assembly has passed a bill that authorizes virtual tax appeal hearings. It also gives taxpayers the right to recoup legal fees when they win an assessment reduction of 15% or more in superior court.

 

Virtual Tax Appeals

 

Senate Bill 410 establishes a 15-day window after appeal notices are received for the county board of equalization to set a hearing date.

 

The bill further states: “the appeal administrator, in his or her discretion and with the consent of all parties, may alternatively conduct the hearing by audio or video teleconference or any other remote communication medium.”

 

Appeal Costs

 

Prior to SB 410, taxpayers who filed an appeal and prevailed in superior court were entitled to reasonable legal fees if the final value resulted in a reduction of 15% or more. However, taxpayers were not entitled to legal fees if the county appealed to superior court.

 

Now with SB 410, if the reduction is greater than 15%, taxpayers are entitled to reasonable legal fees regardless of which party appeals to superior court.

 

SB 410 becomes effective January 1, 2021.