Thousands of Dunwoody residents whose homes gained value over the last three years will get money back because they were overcharged on their property tax bills.

Homeowners may qualify for a refund if they filed and qualified for a homestead exemption and received an property assessment during 2012, 2013 and/or 2014 that was higher than their assessed home value in 2009, city officials said.

Approximately 2,748 residential parcels were affected, based on initial analysis of the Dunwoody residential tax records for the three-year period, the city said July 8.

The city said it plans to issue a total of approximately $150,000 plus interest in property assessment freeze refunds to owners of the affected residential parcels.

The problem was created when Dunwoody officials did not notify county tax officials that voters in November 2010 had approved a city tax exemption.

“My attitude is we made a mistake and are working to fix it,” Mayor Mike Davis said. “Dunwoody’s tax digest didn’t get hit as hard as other parts of the metro area, so the recovery in values hasn’t been extreme either.”

Pike said the majority of homeowners won’t get a refund because average home values still remain below the 2009 assessed levels. Moving forward, Pike said the city foresees minimal budgetary impact and refunds will not diminish funding for government services or initiatives such as public safety or paving.

Refund payment amounts owed for 2013 and 2014 will vary according to individual property assessment increases incurred over the three-year period, Bob Mullen, a spokesman for Dunwoody, said July 8 in a statement.

Residents who qualify will receive refunds according to individual annual tax payments. Refunds will be distributed either directly to a homeowner or to a homeowner’s mortgage company escrow account, Mullen said.

All affected homeowners will receive a letter from the city of Dunwoody indicating refund amounts and distribution method.
Mullen said the city is coordinating refund distribution for homeowners with DeKalb County and the city plans to issue individual refunds over the next 30 to 45 days.

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