Ready to stake your claim on some land in the Peach State?
Georgia is home to some of the country’s most gorgeous vistas, charming small towns and of course, freshest produce.
Yet, owning a piece of real estate here comes with a cost. When you find your ideal spot, you’ll need to pay Georgia property taxes on it.
Today, we’re breaking down the ins and outs of this charge, helping prospective buyers understand what to expect. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
Why Do You Have to Pay Georgia Property Taxes?
Let’s begin by answering the basic question: Why do you have to shell out this money in the first place?
No matter where in Georgia you live, you’ll receive certain services from that city. You can check out books from the library and send your children to public school free of charge, for instance. You also have instant access to the fire and police departments in the event of an emergency.
Though these services are helpful, they require money to operate.
As such, everyone who owns a home in Georgia pays some form of property taxes, though the exact amounts are not the same from homeowner to homeowner.
Rather, each municipality calculates its taxes “ad valorem.” This translates to “according to value.” In other words, the city determines your tax bill based on the value of your real estate. That means if your home is worth more, you’ll pay more and vice versa.
Shaking your head already? Take heart! According to this online tax calculator, Georgia property taxes are around $800 lower than the national average. Next, let’s take a look at how to calculate your payment.
Calculating Your Property Tax in Georgia
Referencing data from the tax calculator, most homeowners in Georgia pay an annual property tax that equals 0.957% of their property’s overall value.
With a median property value of $250,000 that equals around $2,393 per year.
By comparison, the average homeowner in the United States pays 1.211% of their property’s value, for an average annual payout of $3,028.
Do you know your home’s assessed value, along with the property tax rate in your municipality? If so, you can calculate this figure yourself before the official bill comes out. Knowing this number ahead of time can help you budget during the rest of the year.
The State Department of Revenue makes this step simple. Let’s follow the process.
First, subtract $2,000 from your home’s assessed value. This is a “homestead exemption” that every property owner in Georgia can claim. Then, multiply the difference by your local tax rate, known as your mileage rate on some forms.
A real-life scenario can help. Let’s dive in.
Example of Georgia Property Tax Calculation
The Jones Family lives in Chattahoochee County. Here, the property tax rate is 0.93%. Their property’s value is around $65,000, which is the median for that locale.
Therefore, the Joneses would calculate their annual property tax in the following way:
$65,000 – $2,000 = $63,000
$63,000 x 0.0093 = $585.90
Keep in mind that this number is specific to the Jones Family. If their neighbor’s home is worth $80,000, he will pay a higher amount. Likewise, he’ll pay less if his home isn’t worth as much.
Where to Find Your Mileage Rate
You can find the mileage rate for every jurisdiction in the state via the Georgia Department of Revenue. At the time of this article, the rates available spanned from the 2018 tax year all the way back to the 1999 tax year.
While you should be able to find the most accurate numbers on the state’s website, it’s always smart to check with your local county tax commissioner to make sure you’re calculating the correct numbers.
A Closer Look at the Homestead Exemption
While it can help lower your taxes, what is that referenced homestead exemption? And, is it the only exemption that homeowners in Georgia can claim?
First, everyone who has legally owned their home and made it their primary residence since January 1 of the tax year in question qualifies for the homestead exemption.
While each county has its own method for applying for the exemption, most require that you file an application with your tax assessor or tax commissioner’s office by April 1 of the tax year.
Other Exemptions for Georgia Homeowners
The homestead exemption isn’t the only one that homeowners can qualify for. Depending on your situation, there are a number of others to research. Here are a few of the most common qualification factors:
- Homeowners aged 65 years or older with a qualifying income
- Homeowners aged 62 years or older with a qualifying income
- Homeowners aged 62 years or older with a home value that’s risen more than $10,000
- Disabled veterans who qualify
- Dependent children and un-remarried surviving spouses of veterans or service members killed in the line of duty
- Un-remarried surviving spouses of peace officers or firefighters
Homeowners seeking more information on these specific exemptions can contact the Georgia Department of Revenue for more information.
Find Relief From Property Tax Concerns
As a state, Georgia doesn’t charge a property tax. That means that every cent of your bill goes back into your local municipality to fund local programs and services. While this is an advantage to homeowners and helps keep percentage rates low, it can still be a financial burden.
If you find yourself unable to pay your Georgia property taxes, you may find that the simplest way to release yourself from that obligation is to sell your house.
This is where we come in.
We buy houses in Georgia in as-is condition, for cash, for a fair price. We also do it as fast as possible so you can move onto your next step. We understand the challenges that homeowners face, from costly repairs to foreclosures, and we want to help alleviate those headaches.
Contact us today to learn more and let us help you reclaim your financial freedom.