WHAT IS TAXABLE IN GEORGIA ?

All tangible real or personal property in the state of Georgia is taxable unless specifically exempted.

WHAT ARE THE TAX EXEMPTIONS AND EXCEPTIONS?

Major exemptions include:

Some property is not exempt, but receives special treatment, including:

WHAT IS THE VALUATION PROCEDURE?

In Georgia, property taxes are based on fair market value. The market value is multiplied by an assessment ratio (usually 40%) to arrive at the assessed value.

Georgia , and the apportionment among the tax jurisdictions in Georgia , generally is based on plane hours. Likewise, each class or species of public utility property is separately valued. Each CEO must apportion the fair market value of the public utility’s properties to Georgia, if the public utility owns property in states other than Georgia , and among the several tax jurisdictions within Georgia .

WHAT IS THE ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE?

Generally, property is assessed on January 1 of the tax year. The lawful owner as of January 1 is responsible for payment of property taxes. All taxable property should be assessed at the value that would be realized from a cash sale of the property. The assessed value is computed as a percentage of the fair market value and the appraisal is equalized with other properties.

Personal property is taxed in the county where the owner is domiciled. The property of nonresidents is taxed by the county where the property is located.

Returns for tangible personal property tend to be due by April 1, but the date may vary by county. The state revenue commissioner is responsible for the overall supervision of property taxes. County commissioners, receivers, boards of tax assessors and boards of equalization are concerned with the valuation, assessment, collection and enforcement, including appeals, of property taxes.

The 159 counties of Georgia constitute the property tax units levying taxes for county and school districts, except for independent school districts. Municipalities also levy taxes. A county appraisal staff is responsible for the appraisal and preparation of annual assessments on all taxable real and personal property the county board of tax assessors is required to assess. The staff also prepares annual appraisals of tax-exempt property that are submitted to the county board.


WHAT ARE THE PAYMENT DUE DATES?

There is variation between counties, but property taxes generally are paid to the county tax commissioner or tax collector by December 20.

HOW ARE REFUNDS HANDLED?

A taxpayer can file a claim for refund of ad valorem taxes that have been erroneously or illegally assessed and collected within a three-year window. The taxpayer may file a refund claim whether taxes were overpaid voluntarily or involuntarily. Refunds can be requested only when the issue involves errors of fact or law. Errors of judgment must be addressed by following the procedure for appeals.

ASSESSMENT CORRECTIONS

All tax returns submitted by the local tax receivers or tax commissioners are periodically reviewed by the county board of tax assessors. If the opinion of the board is that a taxpayer has omitted any property that should be reported or has failed to report any of the property at its fair market value, the board will correct the return, assess and fix the fair market value to be placed on the property, make a note of such assessment and valuation, and attach the note to the return. When any corrections or changes have been made, the board must provide written notice to the taxpayer of such changes within five days.

HOW ARE APPEALS MADE?

If a taxpayer is dissatisfied with their assessment, they may file an appeal with the county board of equalization (BOE), usually within 45 days from the date the assessment notice was mailed. The limit is 30 days in counties that allow installment payments.

Taxpayers dissatisfied with the BOE decision must file an appeal to the superior court; the written notice of appeal should be mailed or filed within 30 days from the date the decision of the county board of equalization is mailed (or within 30 days from when the arbitration decision is rendered). Taxes must be paid in an amount equal to those of the last year in which taxes were determined to be due before the superior court can hear an appeal.

Alternatively, the taxpayer can appeal an assessment to an arbitrator or arbitration panel instead of the county BOE. As with the BOE appeal, a written notice of arbitration specifically stating the grounds for arbitration should be filed with the county board of tax assessors within 45 (or 30) days from the date the assessment notice was mailed to the taxpayer. The county board of tax assessors will certify the notice of arbitration, and the superior court judge will then appoint an arbitrator within 15 days. If both parties agree, the appeal can be heard by a single arbitrator, who is appointed by the judge of the superior court. If the parties can’t agree to a single arbitrator, three arbitrators can be appointed. The arbitrator(s) usually will render a decision within 30 days. Decisions of the arbitrator or arbitrators may be appealed to the superior court in the same manner as a BOE decision is appealed. Arbitration costs are shared by the taxpayer and the county equally.

THE EXAMPLES OF LAWS AND PROCEDURES PROVIDED HERE ARE FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES. THEY ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE AND ARE NOT LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE OR AN OPINON ON SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES. THEY SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON BY ANY PERSON AS TAX OR LEGAL ADVICE OR OPINION. PROPERTY TAX SERVICE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE MATERIAL BEING CURRENT OR EVEN APPLYING TO YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION. THESE MATERIALS CONSTANTLY CHANGE. WE DO NOT PROVIDE ADVICE OR OPINIONS TO ANYONE AS TO THEIR SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES BY USE OF THIS WEBSITE. OUR ADVICE AND OPINIONS ARE PROVIDED AFTER WE HAVE BEEN RETAINED AND THROUGH DIRECT COMMUNICATION WITH OUR CLIENT. PLEASE CONTACT US, AN ATTORNEY, OR REVIEW THE MOST CURRENT MATERIALS YOURSELF TO VERIFY THAT YOU ARE USING THE MOST CURRENT LAWS AND PROCEDURES AND HOW THEY MAY APPLY TO YOUR SITUATION.