If you live in Georgia, and you own property, you’re going to be paying Georgia property tax. You’re probably also going to have some questions about how these taxes work, when they’re due, if you can appeal yours, and when you might be exempt or able to get a deferment.
The Georgia Department of Revenue’s website has answers to all of these questions, but you might be searching their site all day, just trying to track down a single piece of information hidden in all of their records. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most important Georgia property tax information for you.
When and Where Are Property Taxes Due?
Every year, you’ll owe property taxes on the property or properties that you owned as of January 1st. You must file your property tax return with your county’s tax commissioner or tax receiver between January 1st and April 1st.
If you own a boat that is docked outside your county or an airplane that is hangared in a county other than your own, you’ll owe property taxes in the county where your boat is docked or your airplane is hangared, so long as the vessel stays there at least 180 days out of the year.
If you’re a non-resident but own property in Georgia, you’ll owe Georgia property tax in the county where your property is located.
Who Is Exempt? When Can You Get a Deferral?
Under state law, some properties are exempt from Georgia property tax. These include colleges, seminaries, nonprofit hospitals, and properties housing nonprofit organizations that are open to the public. If buildings on these properties are rented for residential or business use, they will no longer be exempted from Georgia property tax payment.
If a religious group owns a piece of property that’s used for a single-family residence, and no income is derived from renting that property, it will still be considered exempt from property taxation.
If you think that your property should not be taxed because it is used for a public nonprofit organization, you can appeal to the Georgia Department of Revenue for an exemption.
If you’re interested in buying property in Georgia, you’ll probably want to know where you can purchase the highest value land for the lowest property taxes. The six counties with the cheapest Georgia property tax are Forsyth, Cherokee, Cobb, Fayette, Paulding, and Gwinnett. Of these, Fayette, Cobb, and Gwinnett are closest to the city of Atlanta, where you will most likely be working.
These counties have surprisingly high property values and surprisingly low property taxes, making their properties very lucrative. Fayette County’s millage rate, for example, is less than 0.03, meaning if your house were valued at $250,000, your property taxes would be less than $3,000 annually.
The Local Government Services Division of the Georgia Department of Revenue has the answers to all of your Georgia property tax questions. Check with them about any differences in the tax codes in your county from the rest of the state.