The Facts on GA Property Taxes
Georgia is among 37 states that collect property taxes at the state and local level. Property taxes collected by local governments are much higher than those collected by the state. In fiscal year 2004 localities in the state of Georgia collected $7,779,708,000 in property taxes and at the state level, Georgia collected $65,118,000, which ranks Georgia nationally at position 34 regarding the amount of per capita collection.
Real Estate Transfer Tax
A real estate transfer tax is paid when the real property is sold and the title to the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. The tax fee needs to be paid before a deed, security instrument, or other writing can be recorded in the office of the clerk of the superior court.
The real estate transfer tax is based upon the property’s sale price at the rate of $1 for the first $1,000 or fractional part of $1,000 and at the rate of 10 cents for each additional $100 or fractional part of $100. The tax must be paid by the person who executes the deed, instrument, or other writing or the person for whose use or benefit the deed, instrument, or other writing is executed. The real estate transfer tax is paid by the seller unless otherwise agreed by contract between the parties.
The tax rate, or millage, in each county is set annually by the board of county commissioners, or other governing authority of the taxing jurisdiction, and by the Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. The average county and municipal millage rate is 30 mills; the state millage rate in each county is 0.25 mills.
Municipalities also assess property taxes based upon county-assessed values and rates established by the municipal governing authority.
Property in Georgia is assessed at 40% of the fair market value unless otherwise specified by law.
Example: The assessed value–40 percent of the fair market value–of a house that is worth $100,000 is $40,000. In a county where the millage rate is 25 mills the property tax on that house would be $1,000; $25 for every $1,000 of assessed value or $25 multiplied by 40 is $1,000.
A homeowner can file an application for homestead exemption for their home and land any time during the calendar year. To receive the homestead exemption for the current tax year, the homeowner must have owned the property on January 1 and filed the homestead application by March 1. Homestead applications that are filed after March 1 will not be granted until the next calendar year.
If there are questions you have about GA property taxes that are not answered here on our website, please feel free to email us and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.