The Board of Equalization: A Special Jury for Property Assessment Appeals
The Board of Equalization (BOE) is made up of property owners appointed by the Grand Jury of Catoosa County. Because it is a part of the Superior Court, it is not connected in any way with county officials, including the Tax Assessors. Georgia Law establishes this specialized jury of three people to afford the property owners and the Tax Assessors of this county an opportunity to present evidence concerning value, uniformity, exemptions, and taxability.
Who can serve on the BOE? Appointees to this jury must be property owners who are high school graduates and who are also qualified and competent to serve as grand jurors. If the grand jury deems a person to be eligible, he/she may be compelled to serve on the Board of Equalization. In addition, before hearing cases, BOE members must satisfactorily complete forty hours of special training within the first year of being appointed. Each year thereafter, every member must complete eight hours of update training.
The sitting members for each case must meet the same criteria and objectivity requirements that a potential juror would have to fulfill if serving on a civil case involving the same type of lawsuit. The members have to be impartial and unbiased for each case that is heard. Should the partiality of any member be doubted, either party (taxpayer or Tax Assessor) in the appeal has the right to ask a member to remove him/herself from the case.
To obtain information as to the names of members and their terms, you may contact the Tax Assessors office at 706-965-3772 or the Clerk of Courts office where the Grand Jury appointments are recorded.