The intent and purpose of the laws of this state are to have all property and subjects
of taxation returned at the value which would be realized from the cash sale, but
not the forced sale, of the property and subjects as such property and subjects
are usually sold except as otherwise provided in this chapter. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-1)
In Georgia property is required to be assessed at 40% of the fair market value unless
otherwise specified by law. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-7)
Property is assessed at the county level by the
Board of Tax Assessors. The State Revenue Commissioner is responsible
for examining the digests of counties
in Georgia in order to determine that property is assessed uniformly and equally
between and within the counties. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-340)
The tax bills received by property owners from the counties will include both the
fair market value and the assessed value of the property. 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." (O.C.G.A.
Property owners that do not agree with the assessed value on their proposed assessment
can file an appeal with the county board of
equalization. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-311)
Historic property that qualifies for listing on the Georgia or
National Register of Historic Places may qualify for preferential assessment.
The preferential assessment shall extend to the building or structure, the real
property on which the building or structure is located, and not more than two acres
surrounding the building or structure. The real property receiving preferential
assessment may not be changed for a period of nine years. Property under this special
program must be certified by the Department of Natural Resources as rehabilitated
historic property or landmark historic property.
1. Rehabilitated Historic Property
Rehabilitated historic property may qualify for preferential assessment where the
- has increased the fair market value by not less than 50 percent, or,
- if income producing property, the fair market value has increased by not less than
100 percent, or,
- real property that is primarily residential but partially income-producing, the
fair market value has not increased by not less that 75 percent.
2. Landmark Historic Property
Landmark historic property may qualify for preferential assessment:
- where the property has been certified by a local government as landmark historic
- where local ordinances extend the preferential assessment to:
1. tangible income-producing real property,
2. tangible nonincome-producing real property, or
3. a combination of tangible income-producing real property and nonincome-producing
There are other special assessment programs available to property owners. These
special programs include:
1. Preferential Agricultural Property
Bona fide agricultural property can be assessed at 75 percent of the assessment
of other property. This means that this type of property is assessed at 30 percent
of fair market value rather than 40 percent. Property that qualifies for this special
assessment must be maintained in its current use for a period of ten years.
Bona fide agricultural property can be assessed at its current use value rather
than the fair market value. Property that qualifies for this special assessment
must be maintained in a current use for a period of ten years.
Property can be assessed at its current use value rather than the fair market value
when the property is maintained in its natural condition and meets the requirements
set by the Department of Natural Resources. Property that qualifies for this special
assessment must be maintained in a current use for a period of ten years.
4. Forest Land
Property that qualifies can be assessed at it current use value rather than fair
market value when the property is primarily used for the good faith subsistence
or commercial production of trees, timber, or other wood and wood fiber products
and excludes the entire value of any residence located on the property. This 15-year
covenant agreement between the taxpayer and local board of assessors is limited
to forest land tracts consisting of more than 200 acres when owned by an individual
or individuals or by any entity registered to do business in Georgia.
5. Brownfield Property
Property which qualifies for participation in the State's Hazardous Site Reuse and
Redevelopment Program and which has been designated as such by the Environmental
Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources may qualify for preferential
This special program provides for the preferential assessment of environmental and
contaminated property by freezing the value for ten years as an incentive for developers
to clean up the property and return it to the tax rolls. It also allows an eligible
owner to recoup the eligible costs associated with the cleanup of this type property
against their tax liability.
6. Residential Transitional Property
Property can be assessed at its current use value, rather than fair market value,
when it is used for residential purposes but located in an area that is changing
to, or being developed for, a use other than residential.
Click here to download applications for preferential
assessment and conservation use assessment.
Standing timber is not taxed until
sold or harvested, at which time it is taxed based upon 100 percent of its fair
market value. There are three types of sales and harvests that are taxable:
- lump sum sales where the timber is sold at a specific price regardless of volume,
- unit price sales where the timber is sold or harvested based on a specific price
- owner harvests where a land owner harvests his own timber and sells it by volume.
Click here to download form for reporting sold
or harvested standing timber.
Equipment, machinery, and fixtures are assessed at 40 percent of fair market value.
The tax assessor may value the equipment, machinery, and fixtures of a going business
to reflect the fair market value of the business as a whole. When no ready market
exists for the sale of equipment, machinery, and fixtures, a fair market value may
be determined by resorting to any reasonable, relevant, and useful information available.
This information may include, but is not limited to, the original cost of the property,
depreciation or obsolescence, and any increase in value by reason of inflation.
Other determining factors include:
- existing zoning of property;
- existing use of property;
- existing covenant or restrictions in deed dedicating the property to a particular
- any other important factors.
Tax assessors have access to any public records in order to discover
O.C.G.A. § 48-5-7.6.)
Property Tax Forms
Click here to download real and personal property
• The County Tax Commissioner's office
for more information on billing and collection of property taxes.
• The County Board of Tax assessor's
office for more information on property assessment values and appealing
a property assessment.
Tax Digest Consolidated Summaries
Frequently Asked Questions about Real Property
Motor Vehicle Ad Valorem Assessment
Ad Valorem Taxes Levied in Georgia
Composite Conversion Factors
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