Property is taxable in the county where it is located unless otherwise provided
by law. (O.C.G.A. & sect; 48-5-11)
Generally, Elbert County real estate and business personal property taxes are due
by November 15. If taxes are not collected on the property, it may be levied upon
and ultimately sold. Property tax collected by the local government is used to pay
for the support of services provided by the Elbert County Board of Education, Elbert
County and the State of Georgia.
In Georgia property is assessed at 40% of the fair market value unless otherwise
specified by law. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-7) Property is assessed at the county level.
The State Revenue Commissioner is responsible for examining the tax digests of counties
in Georgia in order to determine that property is assessed uniformly and equally
between and within the counties. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-340)
Property owners that do not agree with the appraised value on their assessment notice
file an appeal with the Board of Assessors. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-311) If no agreement
is reached, the appeal is automatically forwarded to the Board of Equalization.
The tax bills received by property owners will include both the fair market value
and the assessed value of the property. Fair market value means "the amount a knowledgeable
buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property
at an arm's length, bona fide sale." (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-2)
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Standing timber is not taxed until sold or harvested, at which time it is taxed
based upon 100 percent of its fair market value. This value is then multiplied by
the appropriate mill rate to determine the tax amount due.
Equipment, Machinery, and Fixtures
Equipment, machinery, and fixtures are assessed at 40 percent of fair market value.
The Board of Assessors may value the equipment, machinery, and fixtures of a going
business to reflect the fair market value of the business as a whole. When no ready
market exists for the sale of equipment, machinery, and fixtures, a fair market
value may be determined by resorting to any reasonable, relevant, and useful information
available. This information may include, but is not limited to, the original cost
of the property, depreciation or obsolescence, and any increase in value by reason
Property Tax Returns
Property tax returns for real estate must be filed with the Elbert County Board
of Assessors at the Courthouse between January 1 and April 1 of each year where
property has changed or been acquired. The taxpayer may elect not to file a property
tax return if they have no changes that would affect the value of their property
from the previous year. Failure to file a required return will subject the taxpayer
to a 10% penalty on the value of the property not returned plus interest and possibly
penalties from the date the tax would have been due.
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Personal property tax returns (PT-50p) are to be filled annually with the Board
of Assessors without regard to change in value or use. This deadline is April 1.
Motor Vehicle Registration
Vehicle owners must renew their registration and pay the ad valorem tax every year
during the 30-day period, which ends on their birthday. If the vehicle is owned
by more than one person, then the birthday of the person's name that appears first
on the title is used to determine the registration period. If the vehicle is owned
by a business, the 1st letter of the business name determines the month in which
the registration is due. The registration period for businesses is from the 1st
day until the last day of the month that corresponds with the business name. Newly
acquired vehicles must be registered within 30 days from the date of purchase. The
Elbert County tag office is located in the Elbert County Governtment Complex, 45
Forest Avenue, POB 603, Elberton. Hours are from 8:00 – 5:00, Monday - Friday. Phone
(706) 283-2018. For more detailed information regarding motor vehicle registration,
please visit our DMV web page.
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Mobile/Modular Home Location Permits
Owners of mobile homes that are located in Elbert County on January 1 must return
the mobile home for taxation to the Tax Commissioner on or before May 1 of each
year at the same time they apply for the location permit. Failure to file the required
return will result in a 10% tax penalty.
It should be noted that the opportunity for a mobile/modular home owner to appeal the value of their mobile home, if it is not homesteaded, will be within 45 days of the mailing of the mobile home tax bill. Mobile home bills are mailed shortly after the 1st of the year and are due by May 1st of each year.
Ad Valorem Tax Refunds
If a taxpayer discovers they have paid taxes that they believe were illegal or erroneous,
they may request a refund within 3 years of the date of payment. The claim for refund
should be filed in writing with the board of commissioners within three years after
the date of payment. Applications for refunds are available from the Board of Assessors
or the Tax Commissioner. Refunds for erroneous paid taxes must be based on "errors
of fault" and not on disagreements of value.
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Exemptions can typically be defined as a portion of the assessed value that will
be free of taxation.
Homestead exemptions have been enacted to reduce the burden of ad valorem taxation for Georgia homeowners.
The exemptions apply to homestead property owned by the taxpayer and occupied as his or her legal residence.
Homestead exemptions are deducted from the assessed value of the qualifying property (40% of the fair market value.)
To receive the benefit of the homestead exemption, the taxpayer must file an initial application.
In Elbert County the application is filed with the Tax Commissioner.
With respect to all of the Homestead Exemptions,
the Board of Assessors makes the final determination as to eligibility.
Georgia law allows for the year-round filing of homestead applications but the application
must be received by April 1st of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer.
Homestead applications received after April 1st will be enacted the following year.
Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year and the taxpayer does
not have re-apply unless there is a change of residence, ownership, or the taxpayer seeks to
qualify for a different kind of exemption.
Under authority of the state constitution several different types of homestead exemptions are provided.
These are known as state exemptions. In addition, local governments are authorized to provide for increased
exemption amounts, also know as local exemptions. Elbert county has such an exemption. The local county
exemptions supersede the state exemptions when the local exemption amount is greater than the state amount.
Please contact your tax commissioner for more information regarding homestead exemption.