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When are my taxes due?

Your taxes are due sixty (60) days from the date the bills were mailed.

What if my mortgage company pays my taxes out of my escrow account?

You should mail a copy (or the lower portion) of your tax bill to your mortgage company. Bills are not mailed to the mortgage company unless the mortgage company requests a copy. It is always a good idea to include your loan number on the copy you are sending them.

What if I live in the city limits? What about those taxes?

All city taxes are included in your county tax bill. Fayette County collects all taxes and disburses the city portion to the appropriate city.

When must I file tax returns on my house and land?

Real Property (house and/or land) tax returns (requesting a change of value) for Fayette County must be filed between January 2 and April 1. Georgia law requires you to file a return on your property in the first full year of ownership. Thereafter, you are only required to make a return when changes in your property occur. Also, anytime you have a change of address. you should notify the Tax Commissioners' Office in writing.

Do I get an exemption on my property tax?

Yes, you can get a regular homestead exemption. Residents of Fayette County who own and occupy their home on January 1 may claim an exemption from taxation on the first $2,000 of the assessed value on State and School and $5,000 of the assessed value on the County and Fire portion of their tax bill. No exemptions apply to the City portion of your tax bill. Filing for the Homestead Exemption on your home is done year round but must be in by April 1 to apply to that year's tax bill. You can only file the Homestead Exemption on one home, your primary residence at that time, but you can file again, when you move to another home.

Are there any other exemptions I can claim?

Perhaps.

If you are 65 or older and can meet certain income requirements, you can get a $4,000 (or double) exemption.

If you are 65 or older, you qualify for 50% school exemption.

If you are 65 or older and your Georgia taxable income is $15,000 or less, you qualify for 100% school exemption.

If you are 62 years old, you qualify for a $4,000 school exemption.

Exemptions are also available for the 100% permanently disabled and 100% permanently disabled veterans.

Age requirements are based on your age as of January 1.

How do I know if I'm eligible for a special exemption?

For information on any of these exemptions or to find out if you are eligible for them, please continue on our web site, come by our office, or contact our office anytime, and we will be glad to assist you. Remember, you may file for any exemption, regular or special, any time during the year, but in order for an exemption to apply for a tax bill it must be filed by April 1.

What if I own a mobile home? Can I file for a homestead exemption?

Homestead exemption does not apply to residents of mobile homes. State law requires mobile home owners to receive a separate tax bill on the mobile home. Tax bills on such mobile homes are mailed out around January 1 and are due by May 1. A ten percent penalty is added after that date. Mobile homes must be registered with the County Tax Office when purchased. If you have any doubt about the registration of your mobile home, please contact the Tax Commissioners' Office and we will be glad to check it for you. Also, if you ever sell your mobile home, you must make sure the county registration is changed over to the new owner at the time of sale. When taxes are paid, a permit (decal) will be issued which must be displayed on the mobile home so that is can by seen from the street by May 1.

Must I reapply every year if I received an exemption last year?

If you received the regular homestead exemption and are still living in the same residence, you are not required to reapply each year. This exemption is automatically transferred each year. The same is true of the other exemptions, as long as your income has not exceeded the maximum amount established by State Law. Also, if you have applied for the age 62 exemption, you still need to come in to apply for the age 65 exemption after you reach 65.

What if I own a boat or airplane?

If you have a boat or airplane or other items specified by law, you must pay tax on them. Example: business, golf cart, jet ski, etc.

What if my boat is docked at West Point Lake? Where do I pay the taxes?

Georgia Law states that boats, motors, and airplanes must be taxed at the county where it is kept at least 180 days out of the year. So if you live in Fayette County, you pay in the county where the boat or airplane is kept. If you own a boat and it is kept at West Point Lake (Troup County) for more than 180 days a year and you pay taxes in Troup County, you can bring a paid tax receipt to Fayette County and have it taken off our tax digest. You must pay in one county or the other though. Also, if you own a boat, airplane or business, please file the appropriate return at the Tax Assessors' Office before April 1.

Don't I pay a tax when I get my tag for my boat trailer?

Yes. When a boat trailer tag is purchased, the ad valorem tax is paid at the time on the trailer only. That tax does not include the tax due on the boat and motor.

When do I actually pay my taxes?

After tax returns have been filed and the tax digest has been approved by the State Revenue Department, you should receive your tax bills the latter part of September. They are payable then and become delinquent after November 30th (or 60 days after mailing, whichever is later). If you do not receive a tax bill on any property you own or have purchased, it is the responsibility of the property owner to check with the Tax Commissioners' Office for the amount of tax due, before they become delinquent. Interest builds up on unpaid taxes after they become delinquent.

What if I sell the timber off my land? Do I have to pay taxes on the timber?

Yes. Standing timber is not taxed until sold or harvested, at which time it is taxed based upon 100% of its fair market value. There are three types of sales and harvests that are taxable:

  1. Lump sum sales where the timber is sold at a specific price regardless of volume;
  2. Unit price sales where the timber is sold or harvested based on a specific price per volume;
  3. Owner harvest sales where the land owner harvests his own timber and sells it by volume.
  4. Taxes are due to be paid to the Tax Commissioner based upon 100% of the fair market value multiplied by the millage rate for the harvested property.

What is a Millage Rate?

The tax rate, or millage rate, 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 is 30 mills; the state millage rate in each county is 0.25 mills. Municipalities also assess property based upon county-assessed values and rates established by the municipal governing authority.

The assessed value--40 percent of the fair market value--of a house that is worth $100,000 is $40,000. The assessed value is then multiplied by the millage rate to equal the taxes due.

How do I purchase a tax lien?

The Fayette County Tax Commissioner does not sell tax liens.

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