299c Lock / Freeze

One major misconception about appeals in Georgia relates to the 299c lock, more commonly known as the “3 year freeze.” The 299c lock is implemented when a property owner takes their appeal to the BOE and their value is reduced. When this happens, the BOE “freezes” the property’s value at this reduced value for 3 years. For a 3 year freeze to be officially implemented, it has to be drafted into the settlement.

Note that this “3 year freeze” does not apply in two cases. First, it does not apply when a property owner accepts a BOA reduction or if the property owner does not attend their BOE hearing. It is surprisingly common for property owners to fail to show up for their hearing, but this has the consequence of preventing you from qualifying for a 299c lock. Furthermore, in many cases if a property has a “3 year freeze” and is sold during this “freeze”, the new owner does not always inherit the value locked price. However, whether a 3 year freeze is honored after a sale or not is dependent on the county assessor's office. So, new property owners should strongly consider appealing their property taxes as soon as possible to try to lock in your property value at the lowest rate.

Value Cap

One area of concern for new owners is the Value Cap. For properties purchased in 2021 and 2022, the taxable value cannot exceed the sales price of the property. However, starting in 2023, this Value Cap will no longer be in effect so new property owners will no longer have tax protection against property value spikes. For property owners who have enjoyed this value cap the past few years, it is important to appeal your property taxes as soon as possible to get the 3 year freeze implemented.

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