The Board of Tax Assessors was developed to serve in the following capacities:
- Ensures that all taxable property within the county is filed and assessed for taxation at its fair market value
- Ensures that taxpayers shall pay only their proportionate share of taxes as per OCGA 48-5-306.
- Maintains all maps for the county including, but not limited to, mapping, platting, cataloging, and indexing of all real and personal property in the County, OCGA 48-5-263.
- Provides for the training of new appraisers and the continuing education of existing appraisers as per OCGA 48-5-263, 267, and 268.
The Board of Assessors in Habersham County began in 1968 as a three member board until the County Commissioners designated the board to become a five member board beginning January 1, 1990. Two additional members were appointed for tax year 1990.
Board of Tax Assessors Duties (illustrative only – not all inclusive)
- Investigate and inquire into the property owned in the county for the purpose of ascertaining what real and personal property are subject to taxation in the county and to require the proper return of the property for taxation
- Investigations, as necessary, to determine the value of any property upon which for any reason all taxes due the state or the county have not been paid in full as required by law
- Interpret and apply regulations of Habersham County along with guidelines of the Department of Revenue and Georgia law
- Assessments and penalties against unreturned property
- Assist Appraisers in the field
- Determine eligibility of exempt properties
- Approve or deny applications for Conservation Use Valuation to be applied to properties
- Approve or deny applications filed by taxpayers for various homestead exemptions; determine eligibility
- Reviews market data, construction data, and other pertinent information necessary to determine a uniform and equitable digest; approve property assessments and yearly tax digest
- Reviews and considers tax returns filed by taxpayers
- Meet with taxpayers to discuss their concerns and issues in regards to all aspects of property taxation
- Establishment, maintenance, and execution of policies and procedures for property appraisal and taxation
The Chief Appraiser may appoint an assistant (currently Stephanie Walker) and may delegate his/her authority in writing to the assistant. The Chief Appraiser may be a member of the county Board of Tax Assessors.
- Members attend meetings on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month
- Meetings begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until all business is finished (meetings are usually completed by 12:00 p.m., however, according to the time of year, some meetings may break for lunch and resume afterwards for an unknown amount of time)
- Members must reside in Habersham County within 6 months after taking the oath of office as a member of the board
- Must be 21 years of age or older
- Must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent
- Must be able to attend required courses given by Georgia Department of Revenue, to obtain Assessors Certification
- Experience in the appraisal field, property taxation, or some career/profession with extensive knowledge (or capability) of vast topics/aspects that may cross the duties of the Board of Assessors
- Education requirements are designated by the Department of Revenue and OCGA. Failure to maintain the requirements of the Department of Revenue may affect the approval of the yearly tax digest.
- Must successfully complete the Assessors’ Certification (40 hour course with exam) within one year of appointment to the board
- Successful completion of an additional 40 hours of approved appraisal courses within two years of appointment to board
- Must continue 40 hours of continuing education during each two years of his tenure as a member
- Some seminars and/or other important events that may be necessary to attend
- A member of the BOA cannot be related to a member of the county governing authority in one or more of the following degrees:
- Mother or mother-in-law
- Father or father-in-law
- Sister or sister-in-law
- Brother or brother-in-law
- Grandmother or grandmother by marriage
- Grandfather or grandfather by marriage
- Son or son-in-law
- Daughter or daughter-in-law
- No member of a county board of tax assessors shall be eligible to hold any state, county, or municipal office during the time he holds such office,
- $75.00 per day for services.
- Members, if desired, assist a property appraiser on one to two work days each week. This assistance is usually driving the county vehicle to various properties within the county, walking property as necessary, helping to measure structures on properties, and noting detailed information needed to maintain photograph records. General work days for assisting property appraisers normally extend from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
- Meeting time - usually 6 or more hours per month
Recommended changes in appointments the Chairperson feels would be the most beneficial for current and future members:
- It is very important the possible member does not have any hidden agendas concerning property taxation or any biases
- Best members have come from someone knowing a current member or Lewis Canup, County Engineer
- The Chairman wishes to speak with any possibilities (if more possibilities than positions vacant) to determine who would be the best suited
- The optimal future member would have experience in the appraisal field, property taxation, or some career/profession with extensive knowledge or capability of vast topics/aspects that may cross the duties of the BOA