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About Your Property Valuation

Facts about the Tax Assessors Office

  • The duty of the Tax Assessors office is to insure equity and uniformity among taxpayers. This is achieved by valuing all property at Fair Market Value. Fair Market Value is the amount a knowledgeable seller will accept for a given piece of property at an arm's length bona fide sale.
  • The assessment date in Georgia is January 1st, meaning all property is valued and taxed according to ownership and its condition on January 1st of that tax year.
  • Georgia law requires that property be assessed at 40% of Fair Market Value. The State Audit Department conducts an annual sales ratio study to insure each county assessors office is complying with the state laws. If the state requirement is not met by counties then certain state funds could be withheld and the county prohibited from collecting taxes. Additionally, the county will be fined by the State of Georgia.
  • All Tax Assessors and Appraisers must successfully pass exams and complete various continuing education courses offered by the state to maintain certification.

Determining Property Value

A variety of factors are considered by the Tax Assessors in determining your property's value.

  • Selling Price of similar properties
  • Replacement Cost of your property
  • Income, if any, generated by your property
  • Topography
  • Location
  • Use
  • Zoning
  • Condition and Size
  • Design
  • Any other factors deemed pertinent

Sales Review

All property sales are reviewed and analyzed by our office each year. From the results of the sales study, new base rates for land and buildings are established for each neighborhood, if necessary. When the sales analysis indicates the assessment ratio is going to fall below the acceptable level as required by the state, a countywide revaluation is performed.

Filing an Appeal

Any property owner who feels the new value on their assessment notice does not represent "Fair Market Value" should file a written appeal with the Board of Tax Assessors within 45 days from the date postmarked on the assessment notice. All appeals must be submitted in person to the Tax Assessors office or postmarked by the post office within the 45 day time period. Appeal forms are available in the Tax Assessors office or on this web site. An appeal form is not necessary; a simple letter stating the reason for appeal would be sufficient. An appeal may not be filed unless an assessment notice was issued.

Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at HEMC-County Annex, 115 Beaver Dam Road, and the mailing address is Habersham County Tax Assessors, 555 Monroe St., Unit 26, Clarkesville, Georgia 30523. If you have questions, please call the Assessors office at 706-839-0100.

Homestead Exemptions

The filing period for homestead exemptions is from January 1 of the previous year or purchase date until March 1 of that tax year. To qualify for a homestead exemption, you must own and occupy the property you claim as your legal residence as of January 1 of the applicable tax year. There are different exemptions available and the staff will assist in determining which exemption you qualify for. The exemption remains in effect as long as you reside in that residence or become eligible for another exemption at which time you must return to the office and reapply for the new exemption.

How Your Tax Bill is Calculated

Fair Market Value X 40% = Assessed Value

Assessed Value X Millage Rate = Tax Amount

example:

$100,000 X 40% = $40,000

$40,000 X .02000 = $800.00

Exemptions, if any, should be subtracted from the assessed value and then multiplied by the millage rate

$40,000 - $2,000 ($38,000) X .02000 = $760.00

Millage Rate: The rate determined by the County Commissioners and the County School Board.

mill rate = budget / net assessment

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