John Adams, Atlanta “Real Estate Expert” Property tax appeals on Fox 5 Atlanta, WAGA February 21, 2012

Self proclaimed Atlanta real estate expert as well as the owner of the money99.com website, John Adams, was on the morning news show at FOX 5 Atlanta this past Tuesday, February 21, 2012 to discuss appealing property tax assessments.. While he only had three minutes to speak about the tax appeal process, I noticed that some of the information was correct and some wasn’t. There is definitely a great deal more to it than what he had time to go over. One thing he mentioned was that after filing an appeal, one should go to the assessor’s office and ask to see the appraiser in charge of appraising the homeowners parcel. He also mentioned that the homeowner should ask to see what sales the county was using to justify their values. Sales are just one of the three approaches that make up a value. Most of the time, the county uses the cost approach to value an improvement and one needs to be able to understand grade, condition, and depreciation to see if the improvement value is correct. He also said that just by filing an appeal, one has a fifty/ fifty chance at obtaining a reduction. I’ve been doing this 18 years and I don’t agree with that at all. From my experience, nine times out of ten, the county will “no change” the value and forward the appeal onto the board of equalization and let them decide it and that’s a whole other deal there. Especially if the county feels like a “frivolous” appeal has been filed. If anyone would like professional representation appealing his or her property tax assessment, please contact me, Rob Vinson, at info@taxappealatlanta.com or call me at 404-218-7874. My website is http://www.propertytaxappealatlanta.com. The service doesn’t cost as much as one would think and if I am able to obtain a property tax savings, it typically holds for three years, so the savings compound less my one time fee. If I am unable to obtain a property tax savings, then the taxpayer has the benefit of knowing that for a small administrative fee, he or she is absolutely paying only their fair share for property taxes and no more.

Arthur Ferdinand, Fulton County Tax Commissioner

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution ran an article about Mr. Arthur Ferdinand today, February 1, 2012, regarding his reluctance to turn over information about his offices’ practice of selling tax liens to third parties.  Mr. Ferdinand can tout that his office collects a very high percentage of outstanding taxes by selling those tax liens to third parties.  He always comes out on top looking like he’s doing a better job than he really is doing.  I’ve heard in some circles that Vesta Holdings and other purchaser’s of tax liens are doing it to “launder” dirty money.  Think about it….a person goes to a sheriff’s tax lien sale with a brief case full of cash.  He or she can buy a tax lien on a property and by doing so, can earn 18% interest on that money in a year’s time, plus fees.  If he or she is not paid back within that year, he or she obtains the deed to the property.  Many counties don’t allow the sale of tax liens because they feel it is a bad practice and that it preys on poor people who either don’t know better about paying their tax bill, or can’t pay their tax bill.  Mr. Ferdinand is a real piece of work.  It is my hope that someone runs for his spot and beats him in the near future.