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 (O.C.G.A. 48-5-7). Fair market value means "the amount knowledgeable a 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).
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 Lamar County, GA Tax Assessor 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 accept and approve all Homestead Exemptions claimed by the Taxpayers of Lamar County.
The Lamar County, GA 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 Lamar County, GA Commission 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 Lamar County, GA 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 Lamar County, GA 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. The Tax Commissioner does not set values or the millage rates.
Property tax bills are normally mailed out by September 15th of each year. Taxes are to be paid by November 15th of the same year.
The Lamar County, GA Board of Assessors’ appraisal staff determines your property values based on recent sales and market conditions. These values are based on the condition of the property as of January 1st of the tax year. The Board of Tax Assessors is required to issue a notice of assessment for taxable real and personal property which states the value of said property. These notices are generally mailed in the Spring of each year.
If the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the value placed on the property, the taxpayer has the right to appeal this value within 45 days of the date of the notice. The appeal may be based on taxability, value, uniformity, and/or the denial of an exemption. The written appeal must initially be filed with the Board of Tax Assessors and must state their chosen method of appeal.
Additional information on assessment appeals may be obtained from the Tax Assessors’ Office.
For further information regarding property taxation in Georgia, please visit the State of Georgia Local Government Services Division website.
Homestead exemptions have been enacted to reduce the burden of ad valorem taxation for Georgia homeowners. The exemptions apply to homestead property owned by the taxpayer and occupied as his or her legal residence. Homestead exemptions are deducted from the assessed value of the qualifying property (40% of the fair market value).
The homestead of each residence of the State of Georgia actually occupied as a residence and homestead on January 1 of the tax year may be exempted from certain ad valorem taxation providing the exemption is returned and claimed in the manner prescribed by law and approved by the County Board of Assessors. All exemptions must be filed with the Tax Assessor's Office between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday through Thursday or Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm. Applications are accepted from January 1 through April 1 each year for the current tax year. Failure to make application within the prescribed time frame constitutes a waiver of the exemption for that tax year. Georgia law does not provide for an extension time for filing. All exemptions, once approved, are automatically renewed each year until eligibility changes unless exceptions are noted.
Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year and the taxpayer does not have to apply again unless there is a change of residence, ownership, or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.
S1 - Regular Homestead
S3 - Elderly Age 62 Years of Age
L4 - Elderly person 65 Years of Age
* Homestead application must be filled out completely
* Must have a copy of their 1040 form or sign a income affidavit
* Must have a copy of their driver license
DISABLE VETERAN EXEMPTIONA property owner must provide documentation supporting declaration as being Service-connected totally disabled by the Veterans Administration and as receiving 100% disability benefits.
LOCAL DISABLE EXEMPTION
15,000 exemptions for school - school M&O only
Total household income of husband and wife must be less than $20,000
*A property owner must have either a letter from 2 physicians stating 100% disability or a letter from social security declaring 100% disability*
*Must a have a copy of their 1040 form or sign a income affidavit*
L2 - Disable Person - No age requirement
L3 - Disable Person - Age requirement 62 yrs old or older --- 62 as of Jan 1st
LS - Disable Person -Age requirement 65 yrs old or older --- 65 as of Jan 1st
LD - Disable Person - Age requirement 70 yrs old or older --- 70 as of Jan 1st
LOCAL COUNTY EXEMPTION FOR OVER 65 YEARS OLD
20,000 Exemption for county M&O only
*Must have a copy of their driver license*
LOCAL SCHOOL EXEMPTION FOR OVER 70 YEARS OLD
7,000 off school M & 0 and School Bond
*Must have a copy of their driver license*
LS - County/School exemption over 70 years of age - 70 as of Jan 1st
L7 - Elderly person 70 years of age - 70 as of Jan 1st
In addition to the various homestead exemptions that are authorized, the law also provides a Property Tax Deferral Program whereby qualified homestead property owners 62 and older with gross household income of $15,000 or less may defer but not exempt the payment of ad valorem taxes on a part or all of the homestead property. Generally, the tax would be deferred until the property ownership changes or until such time that the deferred taxes plus interest reach a level equal to 85% of the fair market value of the property
Lamar County, GA has several types of preferential assessments.
They are the Conservation Use and Residential Transitional Property (Statewide Ref. GA Code Ann. 48-5-7.4), the Preferential Assessment for Agricultural Property (Statewide Ref. GA Code Ann. 48-5-7.4.1), and the Rehabilitated Historic Property (Statewide Ref. GA Code Ann. 48-5-7.2).
Each of these specialized or preferential programs requires the property owner to covenant with the Tax Assessor to maintain the property in its qualified use for at least 10 years in order to qualify for the preference. The Tax Assessor can explain the ownership and use restrictions regarding property qualifying for either of these programs. Please contact this office at 706-275-7410.
Owners of mobile homes that are located in Lamar County, GA on January 1 must pay the ad valorem taxes by April 1 of each year. After the due date there is a 10% filing penaly and 1% per month fee is added. If the taxes are not paid, there is a fifa filed on the docket in the clerk of superior court. The mobile home will be sold at auction.
Mobile home taxes are due by April 1 unless the mobile home is homesteaded in which case they are taxes the same as real property. All mobile homes must display a current decal. The decal is provided upon payment of the taxes each year. Mobile home owners who qualify for homestead exemption for their mobile home may obtain a current decal from the Tax Commissioner’s Office. To qualify for homestead on a mobile home, the owner of the mobile home and the property on which it is located must be the same, and the owner must qualify for a regular homestead as mentioned earlier in this bulletin. The fair market and assessed values of mobile homes are set by the Tax Assessors’ Office. The fair market value may be appealed by filing an appeal with the Tax Assessors’ Office. For more information regarding appeals, contact the Tax Assessors’ Office at (770) 358-5161.
Mobile home owners desiring to declare a different value from the existing value on the home have 45 days to file an appeal from the date the bills are mailed with the Board of Tax Assessors. If a taxpayer is dissatisfied with the value change or corrections, the taxpayer has the right to appeal to the Board of Equalization within 21 days of the date of the notice.
Lamar County, GA
105 Country Kitchen Road
Barnesville, GA 30204
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P.O. Box 850
Barnesville, GA 30204
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
8:00 AM - 4:15 PM
**We do NOT close for lunch unless advertised**
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