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Vicki Lambert
Director
4125 Welcome All Road
Suite 701
Atlanta GA 30349
Phone: 404-724-7000
Fax: 404-724-7011
Email: local.government.services@dor.ga.gov
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Local Government Services Division
Frequently Asked Questions
About Real Property in Georgia

  1. How do I contact my county tax official about my property tax bill or property tax assessment?

  2. How do I figure the tax on my home?

  3. Where do I file a homestead exemption?

  4. When are property taxes due?

  5. Can I pay my property taxes online?

  6. How often can a county reassess property?

  7. How do I appeal my property tax assessment?

  8. Can I get a refund of property taxes I paid for this year since I sold my house and moved out-of-state?

  9. Can I research the values of property in my county online?

10. Where can I find the total assessed value of all property in the county?

11. Who should I contact about the state tax execution or lien on my property?

12. How do I report the capital gains on my income tax return on property I sold last year?

 

1.  How do I contact my county tax official about my property tax bill or property tax assessment?

The Local Government Services Division maintains a web page for each county that gives contact information and taxation procedures for that county. The County Ad Valorem Tax Facts website provides more information about which tax official to contact with your property tax questions. 

The county tax commissioner's office is the best source of information for questions about:

  • paying your tax bill
  • filing for homestead exemptions (or the tax assessor in some counties)
  • receiving property tax returns (or the tax assessors in some counties)
  • registration of your motor vehicle
  • purchasing tax liens 
  • collecting recording intangible tax (in most counties the Clerk of Superior Court collects this tax)

The county tax assessor's office is the best source of information for questions about:

  • filing an appeal of your property tax assessment
  • the appraised value on your home (see question below about property values on the web)
  • filing homestead exemptions (or the tax commissioner in some counties)
  • receiving property tax returns (or the tax commissioner in some counties)
  • maintaining property tax records and maps for the county

If the tax commissioner or tax assessor has a website, then you will find a link to their website on our County Ad Valorem Tax Facts website that contains information on which tax official to contact with your property tax questions. Click here to find out more about the duties of the county tax commissioner's office and the county tax assessor's office.

Click here if you only want a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of county tax officials (this list includes tax commissioners, chairman of the board of tax assessors, chief appraisers, county commission chairman, and clerks of court).

 

2.  How do I figure the tax on my home ?   

The basic formula to figure the tax on a home using the State's standard $2,000 homestead exemption is:

          [(assessed value) - $2,000] * millage rate = tax due

Example: Fair market value means "the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm's length, bona fide sale."  Assessed value is 40% of the fair market value.  If a person that owned a home with a fair market value of $100,000 in an unincorporated area of a county where the millage rate was 25.00 mills, that person's property tax would be $950.00--[(100,000 * 40%) - $2,000] * .02500 = $950.00.  Multiply $100,000 by 40% which is equal to the assessed value of $40,000 and subtract the homestead exemption of $2,000 from the assessed value.  Then multiply $38,000 by the millage rate of .02500 which is equal to $950.00.  

Many counties offer more beneficial homestead exemptions than the standard homestead exemptions offered by the state.  

Click here for more information on how property is assessed in Georgia.

 

3. Where do I file a homestead exemption ?    

The State offers homestead exemptions to persons that own and occupy their home as a primary residence.  Many counties offer homestead exemptions that are more beneficial to the taxpayer than the exemptions offered by the State.  Homestead exemptions are filed with the county tax commissioner or the county tax assessor's office.  We have helpful information on our website about the homestead exemptions offered by the county, but if you need clarification about whether you qualify for a particular homestead exemption, you should contact the county tax commissioner or the county tax assessor's office.  

The homestead exemption is deducted from the assessed value (40% of the fair market value) of the home.  Then the millage rate is applied to arrive at the amount of ad valorem tax due (see example above).  

Click here to download forms for the homestead exemptions offered by the State.  For additional information on homestead exemptions offered by the county, or to download the county's homestead exemption applications, you should contact the county tax commissioner or the county tax assessor's office

   

4. When are property taxes due ?   

Property taxes are normally due December 20 in most counties, but some counties may have a different due date.  Taxpayers have 60 days from the date of billing to pay their property taxes.  

The county tax commissioner is responsible for collecting property taxes for the county, school and state.  For questions about billing you should contact the county tax commissioner.  For questions about the valuation on your property you should contact the county board of tax assessors.  

Click here for additional information about the payment of property taxes.

 

5.  Can I pay my property taxes online?

Some counties offer that service online. You should contact the county tax commissioner's office to find out if you can pay your property taxes online.

 

6.  How often can a county reassess property?

Under Georgia law, all property is to be returned and assessed at fair market value every year (O.C.G.A. 48-5-6). Counties are required to establish a value as of January 1 of each year that meets the definition of fair market value' pursuant to O.C.G.A. 48-5-2. There is not a state mandated revaluation schedule, rather the counties annually review the values on the digest compared to sales data and if property values are determined to be either too low or too high then values are updated. The frequency of property updates can vary from county to county since some counties are experiencing tremendous growth and the real estate market in other counties is more static.

 

7. How do I appeal my property tax assessment?   

The county board of tax assessors must send an annual assessment notice which gives the taxpayer information on filing an appeal on real property (such as land and buildings affixed to the land). If the county board of tax assessors disagrees with the taxpayer’s return on personal property (such as airplanes, boats or business equipment and inventory), the board must send an assessment notice which gives the taxpayer information on filing an appeal.

Upon receipt of this Assessment Notice, the property owner desiring to appeal the assessment may do so within 45 days of the date the Assessment Notice was mailed. The taxpayer’s appeal may be based on taxability, value, uniformity, and/or the denial of an exemption. The written appeal is filed initially with the Board of Tax Assessors. The state of Georgia provides a uniform appeal form for use by property owners. In that initial written dispute, the property owner must declare their chosen method of appeal.

The taxpayer must select one of the three options below when filing an appeal:

1. Appeal to the County Board of Equalization
2. Appeal to a Hearing Officer
3. Appeal to an Arbitrator

If the county board of tax assessors has adopted a written policy consenting to electronic service, the taxpayer may email an appeal to the board of assessors.

Click here for more information on selecting one of the three options when filing an appeal.

The Department of Revenue may not over-ride the board of assessors, board of equalization, hearing officer, arbitrator or Superior Court regarding individual appraisals and assessments. The Local Government Services Division of the Georgia Department of Revenue is charged with general supervision of ad valorem tax administration across the state including; annual approval of tax digests; the training and certification of tax officials; and regularly scheduled audits of each of the 159 county boards of assessors.

In order to facilitate the mass appraisal process, the Revenue Commissioner has adopted specific procedures through the Appraisal Procedures Manual and other Rules and Regulations regarding tax administration. These procedures are designed to arrive at a basic appraisal value of real and personal property and to provide guidance for the local tax assessors to provide fair market value under normal circumstances. When unusual circumstances are affecting value, they should be considered. In all instances, the appraisal staff will apply Georgia law and generally accepted appraisal practices to the basic appraisal values required by this manual and make any further valuation adjustments necessary to arrive at the fair market values.

For additional information about the appeals procedure in the county, you should contact the board of tax assessors.

 

8. Can I get a refund of property taxes I paid for this year since I sold my house and moved out-of-state?   

If you owned property on January 1, you are responsible for the ad valorem tax for the entire year even if you sell the property on January 2.  Georgia law does not allow a refund for partial year residents.

 

9. Can I research the values of property in my county online?   

In most counties you must go to the county board of tax assessor's office to look up property values.  Not every county has the resources to publish property records online.  But for those that do, we have a list of counties with property records online - these are the ones that we are aware of.  If your county is not on this list, you should contact the county board of tax assessor's office to find out if your county will be offering this service in the near future.  

If you want to know if your property tax has been paid, you will need to contact the county tax commissioner's office.

 

10. Where can I find the total assessed value of all property in the county?  

The Tax Digest Consolidated Summary (also known as consolidation sheets) depicts the assessed totals of all property listed on a Georgia county's tax digest separated by tax district. The assessed total is 40% of the fair market value of the property.  These summaries also show how much tax is levied in the tax district and the millage rate for each tax district.

 

11. Who should I contact about the state tax execution or lien on my property?   

Tax liens are filed in the county clerk's office on the general execution docket.

For state tax liens: You should contact the Compliance Division or one of the Regional offices in the State about state tax executions or liens on property. Another way is to call the telephone number listed in one of the notices which are sent to taxpayers by the Department before a lien issues. Click here for more information on state tax executions and your rights as a taxpayer. If the lien was issued by the Department of Labor then you will need to contact that Department.

For county tax liens: If the lien was issued by your county tax commissioner then you will need to contact that office.

 

12. How do I report capital gains on my income tax return on property I sold last year?

Georgia does not tax capital gains differently than other income. If you need additional information, you should contact the Taxpayer Services Division.

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