Board of Tax Assessors
The Board of Assessors (BOA) in Habersham County was created in 1968 as a three-member Board and was was expanded to five members by action of the County Commissioners beginning January 1, 1990. Two additional members were appointed for tax year 1990.
The Board of Tax Assessors was created to serve in the following capacities:
- Ensure that all taxable property within the county is filed and assessed for taxation at its fair market value
- Ensure that taxpayers shall pay only their proportionate share of taxes
- Maintain all maps for the county including, but not limited to, mapping, platting, cataloging, and indexing of all real and personal property in the County
- Provide for training of new appraisers and the continuing education of existing appraisers
The duties of the Board include:
- 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
- Investigate, 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
- Levy 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
- Review market data, construction data, and other pertinent information necessary to determine a uniform and equitable digest; approve property assessments and yearly tax digest
- Review and consider tax returns filed by taxpayers
- Meet with taxpayers to discuss their concerns and issues in regards to all aspects of property taxation
- Establish, maintain, and execute policies and procedures for property appraisal and taxation
The Chief Appraiser may appoint an assistant 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 a.m. and last until all business is finished. (Meetings are usually completed by noon; 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
- Must 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 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/her tenure as a member
- Some seminars and/or other important events 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/she holds such office.
- 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