Let’s Talk Property TAX – Homestead Exemption

Real Estate Agent with Colony Realty Company

Homestead Exemption

Generally, a homeowner is entitled to a homestead exemption on their home and land underneath provided the home was owned by the homeowner and was their legal residence as of January 1 of the taxable year. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-40)

Application for Homestead Exemption

To be granted a homestead exemption, a person must actually occupy the home, and the home is considered their legal residence for all purposes.  Persons that are away from their home because of health reasons will not be denied homestead exemption.  A family member or friend can notify the tax receiver or tax commissioner and the homestead exemption will be granted. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-40)

Application for homestead exemption must be filed with the tax commissioner's office, or in some counties the tax assessor's office has been delegated to receive applications for homestead exemption. 

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 the same date property tax returns are due in the county. Property tax returns are required to be filed by April 1. Homestead applications that are filed after this date will not be granted until the next calendar year. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-45)

Failure to apply by the deadline will result in loss of the exemption for that year.  (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-45) REFERENCE

Exemptions Offered by the State and Counties

The State of Georgia offers homestead exemptions to all qualifying homeowners.  In some counties they have increased the amounts of their homestead exemptions by local legislation above the amounts offered by the State.  As a general rule the exemptions offered by the county are more beneficial to the homeowner.

Homestead Exemptions Offered by the State

  • Standard Homestead Exemption
    The home of each resident of Georgia that is actually occupied and used as the primary residence by the owner may be granted a $2,000 exemption from state, county and school taxes except for school taxes levied by municipalities and except to pay interest on and to retire bonded indebtedness. The $2,000 is deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead. The owner of a dwelling house of a farm that is granted a homestead exemption may also claim a homestead exemption in participation with the program of rural housing under contract with the local housing authority. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-44)



Who decides how much my property is worth for tax purposes?
The Board of Assessors and their staff have the responsibility of determining the value of property in Walton County. Each year between January 1 and April 1 every property owner has the ability to declare a proposed value for their property. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-9) These values are declared in the manner of ‘filing a return'. Returns for real estate are filed in the Tax Assessor's office and returns for personal property are filed with the Board of Assessors. The Board of Assessors will review your proposed value and if they disagree, an assessment notice with the Boards' value will be mailed to you.

What if I disagree with the Tax Assessors' value?
Taxpayers may challenge an assessment by Walton County Board of Tax Assessors by appealing to Walton County Board of Equalization or to an arbitrator(s) within 45 days from the date of the assessment notice. Once the county board of equalization or the arbitrator(s) has rendered a decision, the taxpayer may continue their appeal to the superior court by mailing or filing with Walton County Board of Tax Assessors a written notice wishing to continue the appeal.

What is the difference between fair market value and assessed value?
Assessed value is defined as being 40% of the fair market value. Property in Georgia is taxed on the assessed value.

What is a millage rate?
The tax rate, or millage rate, is set annually by the Walton County Commissioners and the Walton County Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. Each governing authority estimates their total revenue from other sources. This figure is subtracted from their overall budgetary needs, and then a millage rate is set that will generate the necessary revenues to fulfill budgetary requirements.

How is my tax bill calculated?
Once the property owner and the Board of Assessors have come to terms with an appropriate value, this value is provided to the Tax Commissioner for tax bill calculation. To calculate a tax bill, you must first deduct any exemptions that many apply from the assessed value; thus generating a net assessed (taxable) value. Next you multiply the net assessed value by the millage rate.

What is and how do I file for homestead exemption?
Homestead exemption is the system developed by the State of Georgia that exempts from taxation a specified amount of assessed value of your home. To apply for homestead exemption bring a copy of your warranty deed to the Tax Assessor's office between January 2 and March 1. To qualify you must both own and occupy your home as of January 1. Once you have qualified for homestead exemption and remain in the same house you do not need to reapply. However, if you move, you are required to reapply for the exemption for the new location. Beginning June 1, 2005 application for homestead exemption may be submitted any time during the year but must be received before April 1 of the taxable year to qualify for the exemption that year. If received after April 1, the Tax Assessor will activate the exemption the following year.

Tax Assessors, Telephone# 770-267-1352, Fax# 770-267-1007

Patricia Malcom, Walton County Tax Commissioner, 303 South Hammond Drive, Walton County Government Building, Monroe, Georgia 30655, Fax: 770-267-1416, Phone: 770-267-1335


To apply for a Homestead Exemption, first search and select your property as directed below.When you click on your address, the Homestead Application will appear.  The online application is available for the Regular Homestead Exemption (S1R) and Value Offset Exemption (VOE).


Other exemptions require additional documentation that must be mailed to our office.  While it is possible to apply for these exemptions online, we encourage those applying for special exemptions to request an application or print the online application and mail it with any required documents to ensure proper handling of the application.

If you have trouble accessing or printing your application, or if you need to request to be sent an application, please click here or call 770-822-8800.  Applications are also available by request at all Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner's offices.

Send your completed application and documentation to this address:  Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner, Department of Property Tax, P.O. Box 372, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 



Homestead Exemptions are value exemptions that are subtracted from your personal residence's assessed value. The exemption lowers your property tax bill.

To qualify for a homestead exemption, you must own and be occupying your personal residence as of January 1. By state law, your homestead becomes your legal residence for all purposes in the state of Georgia, including vehicle registration and voting. You may qualify for only one homestead exemption in the state. You must apply for the exemption in person at the Board of Assessors Office by April 1 of the applicable tax year. You only need to apply once for the exemption. If your situation changes and you qualify for a different exemption, you will need to return to the Assessors Office to apply for the new exemption.

Department Location & Mailing Address:  981 Milstead Avenue (mail not received at this address), Conyers, Georgia 30012 Telephone: 770-278-7676, Fax: 770-278-8906  Contacts: Director, Lamar Sims, To Request Property Information: boa@rockdalecounty.org


Homestead, School, Disabled Veterans, and Preferential Agriculture:

Property tax is one of the primary sources of revenue for Newton County. It is used to fund police and fire services, education, roads, bridges, water, parks, and other county services. The basis for property tax is the fair market value of the property, which is established on January 1 of each year. The tax is levied on the assessment value, which by law is established at 40 percent of fair market value. The amount of tax is determined by the millage rate. (One mill of tax is equal to $1 per $1,000 of assessed value.)

You must file for a homestead exemption in person by March 1st and you must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1st in which year you are seeking the exemption. Once you have applied for an exemption, you do not need to reapply unless you move to another location.

Chief Appraiser: Tommy Knight, Asst. Chief Appraiser: Marcus Jordan
Address:  1113 Usher Street Suite 102, Covington, GA 30014
PHONE: 770-784-2030, FAX: 770-784-2162


When and how do I file for Homestead Exemptions?
Homestead exemptions are requested through the Tax Commissioners Office. Documentation of ownership is required. Call the Tax Commissioners Office for full details.

Henry County Assessors Office
Chief Appraiser, Laurence Street, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, GA 30253
Phone: (770) 288-7999, Fax: (770) 288-7961, E-Mail


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