Higher tax bills loom as DeKalb homes again gain value

Home values across DeKalb County are going up, and property tax bills will rise with them.

Residential real estate assessments rose an estimated 7.8 percent this year, according to the county government’s preliminary tax digest figures. Unless the county reduces tax rates this summer, residents whose homes gained value will have to pay higher taxes.

DeKalb’s government mailed annual property assessment notices for about 220,000 residential properties Friday.

This is the fourth straight year property values have jumped in the wake of the Great Recession. Residential property assessments were up 17 percent last year and 11 percent in 2014. Taxable property values in DeKalb peaked in 2008 and still haven't fully recovered.

DeKalb and other counties conduct annual assessments of the value of real estate for tax purposes. Those values, along with tax rates set by local governments, are used to set property tax bills.