Property Tax Information

Property Taxation

Property tax is an ad valorem tax--which means according to value-- based upon a person's wealth. Wealth is determined by the property a person owns.

All real property and all personal property are taxable unless the property has been exempted by law.(O.C.G.A. 48-5-3) Real property is land and generally anything that is erected, growing or affixed to the land; and personal property is everything that can be owned that is not real estate.

Property taxes are charged against the owner of the property on January 1, and against the property itself if the owner is not known.(O.C.G.A. 48-5-9) Unless otherwise specified, property tax returns are to be >filed between January 1 and April 1 with the county tax commissioner's office or in some counties the county tax assessor's office has been designated to receive returns. In some counties property tax returns are to be filed between January 1 and March 1.(O.C.G.A. 48-5-10, 48-5-18)

Click here for specific information about ad valorem taxation in each county.

Real property is taxable in the county where the land is located, and personal property is taxable in the county where the owner maintains a permanent legal residence unless otherwise provided by law.(O.C.G.A. § 48-5-11)

For most counties, taxes are due by December 20, but this may vary from county to county. If taxes are not collected on the property, it may be levied upon and ultimately sold even though the property may have changed hands during the year. The property tax money collected by the local government is used to pay for the support of services provided by the local and state government.

Where do Tax Dollars Go?

  • To support administration of county government
  • To pay the principal and the interest on any debt of the county and to provide a sinking fund
  • For educational purposes of property located outside of independent school systems
  • To build and repair public buildings and bridges
  • To pay expenses of courts and for the maintenance of inmates, to pay sheriffs and coroners, and to pay for litigation
  • To build and maintain county roads
  • For public health purposes and preservation of records of vital statistics
  • To pay county police
  • To support indigent individuals
  • To pay county agricultural and home demonstration agents
  • To provide payment for assistance to aged individuals, the needy blind, dependent children, and other welfare benefits
  • To provide for fire protection of forest lands and the conservation of natural resources
  • To provide hospitalization and medical care for the indigent sick people of the county
  • To acquire, improve, and maintain airports, public parks, and public libraries
  • To provide for workers' compensation and retirement of pension funds for officers and employees
  • For public improvements as fixed by law
  • To pay pensions and costs under a teacher retirement system
  • For school lunches
  • To provide ambulance services
  • To provide financial assistance to county or municipal authorities to develop trade, commerce, industry, and employment opportunities
  • To provide for public health and sanitation
  • To provide for financial assistance to county children and youth commissions providing children and youth services

Taxation Information

We have helpful information on this website about the following topics : If your questions are not answeredhere, then the best source of information about ad valorem taxation is the Tax Commissioner or Board of Tax Assessors in your county.

  • Paying Your Property Tax Bill:
    If you have questions about paying your property tax bill you should contact the Tax Commissioner in your county. You can now pay you property tax online
  • Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment:
    For information about appealing your property tax assessment you should contact the Board of Tax Assessors in your county.
  • Applying for Homestead Exemption:
    To find out more about applying for homestead exemption you should contact the Tax Commissioner or the Board of Tax Assessors in your county. Click here for more information on which tax official to contact.
  • Paying Taxes on Your Motor Vehicle:
    You should contact the Tax Commissioner in your county for information on paying ad valorem taxes on your motor vehicle.
  • Researching Property Values:
    In most counties you must to go to the Board of Tax Assessors' office in your county to look up property values, but for your convenience, we have a listof most of the counties that have property records online