Tax Exemptions

Several types of 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 their legal residences(some exceptions to this rule apply and the tax commissioner can explain them).

To receive the benefit of the homestead exemption, the taxpayer must file an initial application. In Randolph County the application is filed with the Board of Assessors. Georgia law allows for the year-round filing of homestead application but the application must be received by April 1st of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. Homestead applications received after that date will be applied to the next tax year.

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 ownership or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.

Under authority of the State Constitution several different types of homestead exemptions are provided. In addition, local governments are authorized to provide for increased exemption amounts and several have done so. The tax Commissioner in your county can answer questions regarding the standard exemption as well as any local exemptions that are in place.

The Local County Exemptions supersede the state exemption amount when the local exemption is greater than the state exemption.

Randolph County has a local exemption for 66 and older for school tax relief. The homestead property and up to 5 acres will be exempt from school tax. Application accepted in the same time frame as state exemptions. Homeowners must be 66 or older by 01/01 of the taxable year.

The Standard Homestead Exemption is available to all homeowners who otherwise qualify by ownership and residency requirements and it is an amount equal to $2,000 which is deducted from the 40 percent assessed value of the homestead property. The exemption applies to the maintenance and operation portion of the mill rate levy of the county and the county school system and the State mill rate levy. It does not apply to the portion of the mill rate levied to retire bonded indebtedness.

The Standard Elderly School Tax Homestead Exemption is an increased homestead exemption for homeowners 62 and older where the net income of the applicant and spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the preceding year. Social Security income and certain retirement income are excluded from the calculation of the income threshold. This exemption applies to school tax including taxes levied to retire bonded indebtedness. The amount of the exemption is up to $10,000 deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead property.

The Standard Elderly General Homestead Exemption is available to homeowners who otherwise qualify and who are 65 and older where the net income of the applicant and spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the preceding year. Social Security income and certain retirement income are excluded from the calculation of the income threshold. This exemption, which is in an amount up to $4,000 deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead property applies to county taxes, school taxes, and the state tax and it does apply to taxes levied to retire bonded indebtedness.

The Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption is available to certain disabled veterans or to the un-remarried spouse or minor children in an amount up to $50,000 deducted from the 40 percent assessed value of the homestead property. Disabled Veteran exemption max amount varies from year to year. This exemption applies to all ad valorem tax levies; however, it is restricted to certain types of very serious disabilities and proof of disability, either from the Veterans Administration or from a private physician in certain circumstances. A similar exemption in the same amount is now available to the un-remarried surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in any war or armed conflict engaged in by the United States. The surviving spouse must furnish appropriate documentation that spousal benefits are received as a result of the death of the armed forces member.

With respect to all of the homestead exemptions, the Board of Tax Assessors makes the final determination as to eligibility, however, if the application is denied the taxpayer must be notified and an appeal procedure then is available for the taxpayer.

Specialized and Preferential Assessment Programs
Two general types of specialized or preferential assessment programs are available for certain owners of certain types of property. One of these programs authorizes assessment at 30% rather than 40% of fair market value for certain agricultural properties being used for bona fide agricultural purposes.

The second type of preferential program is the Conservation Use program which provides that certain agricultural property, timber land property, environmentally sensitive property, or residential transitional property is to be valued and assessed for ad valorem purpose at its current use value rather than its fair market value.

Each of these specialized or preferential programs require the property owner to covenant with the Board of Tax Assessors to maintain the property in its qualified use for at least 10 years to order to qualify for the preference. The Board of Tax Assessors can explain the ownership and use restrictions regarding property qualifying for either of these programs.

Notice to property owners and occupants In accordance with Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. 48-5-264.1) Please be advised that the property located in Randolph County may be visited by our appraisal staff for review concerning an appeal filed, return filed, construction of new improvement or addition, any exemption request, and  for review of any changes to property. The appraisal staff will have a photo identification badge and will be driving an appropriately marked vehicle. Please contact our office at 855-782-6310 Ext. 7 if you have any further questions.