Ad valorem tax, more commonly known as property tax, is a large source of revenue for local governments in Georgia. The basis for ad valorem taxation is the fair market value of the property, which is established as of January 1 of each year. The tax is levied on the assessed value of the property which, by law, is established at 40% of the fair market value unless otherwise specified by law through the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A. 48-5-7). 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. 48-5-311) The amount of tax is determined by the tax rate (mill rate) levied by various entities (one mill is equal to $1.00 for each $1,000 of assessed value, or .001).
(View the complete Official Code of Georgia here)
Several distinct entities are involved in the ad valorem tax process:
The State Revenue Commissioner is responsible for examining the tax 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). In addition, the State levies ad valorem tax each year in an amount which cannot exceed one-fourth of one mill(.00025).
The County Board of Tax Assessors, appointed for fixed terms by the county commissioners, is responsible for the appraisal, assessment, and the equalization of all assessments within the county. They notify taxpayers when changes are made to the value of property, receive and review all appeals filed, and insure that the appeal process proceeds properly. In addition, they approve all exemptions claimed by the taxpayer.
The County Board of Equalization, appointed by the Grand Jury, is the body charged by law with hearing and adjudicating administrative appeals to property values and assessments made by the Board of Tax Assessors.
The Board of County Commissioners, an elected body, establishes the annual budget for county government operations and levies the mill rate necessary to fund the portion of the budget to be paid for by ad valorem tax.
The County Board of Education, an elected body, establishes the annual budget for school purposes and adopts the mill rate necessary to fund the portion of the budget to be paid for by ad valorem tax.
The County Tax Commissioner, an elected office established by the Constitution, is the official responsible for performing all functions related to billing, collecting, accounting for and disbursing ad valorem taxes collected in this county. The Tax Commissioner also serves as an agent of the State Revenue Commissioner for the registration of motor vehicles.
Tags must be renewed on or before your birthday.
Property taxes are due by December 1 each year. Mobile home taxes are due by April 1 each year. Personal property forms are due by April 1 each year.
Please note: If you no longer own the listed items, you must contact the Assessor's Office or you will be taxed on it. All mobile homes must be registered in the Assessor's Office. You must display your decal. If you do not do so, you can be summoned to Magistrate Court for failure to display.
Past due charges are added as follows:
If you trade in a vehicle, keep your old tag. As long as the tag and the vehicle are in the same name we can transfer that tag to your new vehicle. All vehicles from 1986 or newer require a Georgia title in order to register it. The State of Georgia offers a variety of tags.
If you purchased a vehicle out of state, you may be liable to pay sales tax to Georgia before we can apply for your title and issue a tag.
If you cancel your insurance for any reason, please contact our office at (706) 517-1400 ext. 1 to cancel your registration. If you do not do this, you will receive a letter from the state with a $25 lapse fee. If you fail to comply and pay that fee you will get an additional fine of $65.
To cancel your registration, come to our office, located at 121 North Fourth Avenue, and show a form of ID.