The fair market value is established each year by the Tax Assessors. The value is based on what is on the property as of January 1 and ownership is established by who owns it January 1.
Several boards and/or offices are involved in this process:
The Tax Commissioner’s office is responsible for the billing and collection of property taxes and processing the exemptions. This office is responsible for disbursing the tax money to the governing authorities (ie, state, county, school, cities, water authority, hospital).
The Board of Assessors are responsible for the appraisal, assessment and the equalization of all assessments in the County. They notify taxpayers when changes are made to the value of their property, they receive and review all appeals filed; they insure that the appeal process proceeds properly; and they approve all exemptions claimed by the taxpayer.
The Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education establishes the budget for their entities each year and levies the mill rate necessary to fund the portion of the budget to be paid for by ad valorem taxes.
The Department of Revenue for the state does checks and balances of the county digest to ensure taxpayers are being assessed equally and at fair market value.
Tax Returns & Assessment Appeals
Taxpayers are required to file a tax return between January 1 – April 1 for all properties they purchased during the previous year. This assures the property owner that they will get the assessment and tax bills in a timely manner and at the correct address. This is done in the Tax Assessor’s Office. Tax returns on personal property are filed with the Board of Assessors.
A tax return is not required unless assessed changes are made to the property that would increase or decrease the value of the property. If the owner thinks the value is too high for their property, the property owner may declare a value and this would start the appeal process. The Board of Assessors would then mail an assessment notice in the spring either accepting the revised value or leaving the value the same; the property owner would then have 45 days to appeal their assessment.
The ad valorem tax, more commonly called property tax, is the primary source of revenue for local governments in Georgia. Ad valorem means "according to value."
The millage rate is a determining factor in the calculation of your taxes. (A mill is 1/10 of 1 cent or $1 per $1,000 of assessed value.) The millage rate multiplied by the 40% assessed value determines the amount of taxes you owe. All property taxes are calculated in the same way for home, auto and personal property.
The county Board of Commissioners sets the millage rate for county taxes, the county Board of Education sets the millage rate for county school taxes and the city authorities determine the rate for city taxes.
The county Board of Tax Assessors, which is appointed by the county Board of Commissioners, assesses all property for tax purposes. Assessments are by law based upon 40% of the fair market value. This assessment is multiplied by the millage rate. If there is an increase in the assessment or the millage rate then there may be an increase in property taxes.
If you have questions regarding your value or any exemptions, please contact the Assessors office at (706) 743-5166
Click here for the Assessors website and additional information regarding their office.