Per (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-40), a homeowner is entitled to a homestead exemption on their home and land provided the home was owned and occupied by the homeowner and was their legal residence as of January 1 of the taxable year.
Persons that are away from their home because of health reasons will not be denied a homestead exemption. A family member or friend can notify the tax receiver or tax commissioner and the homestead exemption will be granted.
Homestead Exemptions can be filed in either the Tax Commissioner’s Office or the Tax Assessors Office. Applications can be filed at any time during the year but must be filed before April 1st to be applied for the current tax year.
Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year. The taxpayer does not have to apply again unless there is a change in ownership of the property or if the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different exemption type.
The Local County Exemptions supersede the state exemption amount when the local exemption is greater than the state exemption.
A list of local and state exemptions can be found here.
Specialized and Preferential Assessment Programs
Specialized and Preferential assessment programs are available for owners of certain types of Property.
For certain properties being used for bona fide agricultural purposes, Preferential Agricultural Assessment authorizes the Tax Assessors Office to assess the property at 30% of fair market value rather than 40%
Conservation Use Assessment allows for certain agricultural, timber land, environmentally sensitive, and residential transitional property to be valued and assessed at its current use value rather than its fair market value.
The Georgia Forest Land Protection Act provides for an ad valorem tax exemption for property primarily used for the good faith subsistence or commercial production of trees, timber, or other wood and wood fiber products.
Applications for specialized assessments must be filed with the county board of tax assessors on or before the April 1st deadline. An application fee of $25.00 is required for all applications.
Owner of property must be an individual or family farm corporation, estate, trust or non-profit organization.
Owner must agree to maintain the property in its qualifying use for 10 years.
Owner may not have more than 2,000 acres statewide enrolled in Conservation Use Programs at one time.
Additional information concerning Specialized Assessments including potential Breaches as well as additional qualifications can be found here.
The governing authority of Gordon County and its municipalities, have approved Freeport Exemption at 100% for the following types of tangible personal property:
- Inventory of goods in the process of being manufactured or produced including raw materials and partly finished goods.
- Inventory of finished goods manufactured or produced within this State held by the manufacturer or producer for a period not to exceed 12 months.
- Inventory of finished goods on January 1 that are stored in a warehouse, dock, or wharf which are destined for shipment outside this State for a period not to exceed 12 months.
Applications for freeport exemption must be made with the Board of Tax Assessor’s within the time period that returns are due in the county (Jan 1st – April 1st). Applications filed after that time period may be eligible to receive a partial exemption for that year up to June 1st.
The Tax Assessors Office may request additional information regarding the use and/or ownership of any real or personal property in order to determine if the property or owner qualifies for the exemption being applied for.