Fulton County Board of Equalization, “Virtual, Paperless, Appeal”

I had the pleasure of experiencing my first “virtual” appeal at Fulton County earlier this week. I showed up and went in the hearing room and the appraiser didn’t have a file or any paper. She pulled up a spreadsheet on a 15″ computer monitor and it had three comparables on it. I couldn’t see the addresses, I couldn’t see the neighborhood number, I couldn’t see anything and neither could the board members. She finished her presentation, which was basically pulling up that sheet and recommending a “no change” in the value. I got to present my appeal, on paper and then went back and asked the appraiser to pull up the spreadsheet and asked her to recite the values, square footages, sales prices, sale dates, etc. Two of the three comparables she selected, made my case for me, but again, the county wouldn’t budge and of course the three dolts sitting across the table agreed with the mighty assessor’s office. I’ve been doing appeals for 20 years now, and I’ve probably done over 2,000 appeal hearings in person, and If I, a professional, can’t get a reduction at the board, then the average homeowner won’t have a chance. The Fulton County assessor’s office has figured out that if they do these appeals “virutually”, they won’t have to make copies, won’t have to make a presentation and they can basically cut and paste all of their appeals on the computer and they can recommend a “no change” to the board and unless one takes the time to divide out the values and sales per square foot, then they win. From now on when I go in the board hearing room, I will make the appraiser blow up the screen so I can see it, and I will make him or her give me neighborhood numbers, addresses, sale dates, tax values, sale prices, square footages, year builts, etc. and I’ll have to make a hand written spreadsheet right there so I can see what I’m up against. The hearings only last 15 miunutes, but If we can’t see what we are fighting for, then this isn’t going to fly. I’d like to hear more about anyone elses experience regarding this matter. Also, if anyone needs assistance with their tax appeal, please contact me, Rob Vinson, The Vinson Group, Inc. 404-218-7874, or email me at info@taxappealatlanta.com or http://www.taxappealatlanta.com.