Senator Rogers’ Streamlined Appeals Bill Becomes Law

Governor Perdue Signs Senate Bill 240

ATLANTA (April 30, 2009) – A measure to help Georgia property owners has been signed into law by Governor Sonny Perdue. The legislation authored by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) allows property owners to take assessment disputes directly to arbitration. The law is designed to bypass lengthy government processes and finally put property owners and government on equal footing when determining valuation disputes.

“Georgia property owners have suffered at the hands of a biased appeals process that almost never ends in favor of the property owner. Senate Bill 240 changes this. Government assessments must now be fair or a property owner can take a professional appraisal straight to an arbitrator and receive a lower true fair market valuation,” said Rogers. “This bill will ultimately lower property taxes by keeping government honest and ensuring that the actual market determines property tax values. The burden will now be placed on the government rather than the property owner to provide proof of fair market value.”

Before the passage of SB 240, current government processes force property owners to go through local assessment boards, a process Rogers says can sometimes take two or three months to resolve. SB 240 gives property owners another option to resolve assessment disputes with their county by allowing them to go directly into arbitration. This would significantly speed up the resolution process. The party that loses the assessment dispute pays for the arbitration.

Property owners around the state are requesting anywhere from a 10-70 percent reduction in taxes based on their values and several counties have been reporting a record number of assessments filed within the past several months. Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties have had over 22,000 returns filed. Clayton County, which normally receives a few hundred returns filed, reported over 3,800 received last month.

Rogers’ property assessment became effective Wednesday with Governor Purdue’s signature.

Sen. Chip Rogers serves as Senate Majority Leader. He represents the 21st Senate District, which includes portions of Cherokee and Cobb counties. He can be reached at his office at 404.463.1378 or by email at

For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2009
For Information Contact:
Raegan Weber,Director
Matt Colvin Communications Associate