Many DeKalb homeowners will pay higher taxes this year because of higher property assessments. (JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM)

Many DeKalb residents appeal their property assessments

Sharp increases in assessed property values this year has motivated many DeKalb County residents to appeal the government’s estimates.

About 16,300 people appealed their property assessments this year in hopes that revaluations will lower their tax bills, according to DeKalb Chief Appraiser Calvin Hicks. That represents a 46 percent increase compared to last year, when 11,164 people appealed their assessments.

Residential real property assessments rose about 17 percent this year across DeKalb, the largest increase among Metro Atlanta’s core counties.

Those who believed the county overvalued their homes had to appeal by a July 13 deadline, and they will soon be able to present their cases to a citizen panel called the Board of Equalization, which then makes a decision on whether to change the assessment.

This year’s number of appeals is the largest since 2011, when more more than 22,000 appeals were received by the county, Hicks said.

In 2011, residents appealed because they thought their home assessments hadn’t fallen along with market values following the recession. This year, many people object to their assessments rising so quickly as the economy has rebounded.

The property values appealed represent about 3.7 percent of DeKalb’s total tax digest, which is valued at $24.7 billion.

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