The information in this web site is intended to aid you in understanding your rights and responsibilities relating to property tax in Elbert County. A small web page cannot cover the many and complex tax laws in Georgia. If you have questions or need clarification, please call the office at (706)283-2018.

My staff and I are here to help you.

Purpose of this Site
The purpose of this site is to answer questions and provide general information to the public on taxation in Elbert County, Georgia. This site does not necessarily cover every aspect of property taxation and should not be relied upon as a legal source of information. Please refer to the specified code sections for specific limitations. The Department of Revenue sponsors a web site where the non-annotated version of the Official Code of Georgia can be viewed. To view this site, click HERE.

The Elbert County Tax Commissioner's Office should be contacted for more information on inquiries about billing and collection of property taxes, and the Elbert County Board of Tax Assessor's Office should be contacted for more information on property values. The phone number for the Tax Assessor is (706)283-2008.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is property taxation?
Property tax is an ad valorem tax, which means according to value. Ad valorem tax, the tax collected by the tax commissioner, is based on the value of the taxable property in the county.

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What property is taxed?
All real estate and personal property are taxable unless law has exempted the property. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-3) Real property is land and generally anything that is erected or affixed to the land; personal property is everything that can be owned that is not real estate. Personal property typically consists of inventory and fixtures used in conducting business, boats, aircraft, farm machinery, motor vehicles and mobile homes. Your household property is not normally taxable.

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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 Elbert 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 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.

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What if I disagree with the Tax Assessors' value?
You have the right to appeal these values to the county Board of Tax Assessors followed by an appeal either to the county Board of Equalization or to Arbitration and in either case, to appeal to superior Court.

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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.

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What is a millage rate?
The tax rate, or millage rate, is set annually by the Elbert County Commissioners and the Elbert 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.

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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.

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What is the HTRC credit on my tax bill?
The HTRC (Homeowner's Tax Relief Credit) is the result of the homeowner's tax relief enacted by the Governor and the General Assembly of the State of Georgia in 1999. The grant, appropriated by the General Assembly and the Governor for the last several years to counties, cities and schools, had given tax relief to homeowners in the form of a credit on their tax bills. For the 2009 tax year, the Governor and General Assembly did not fund the Homeowners Tax Relief Grant. Declining state revenues during the current recession means there is no money for the State to give the tax relief to homeowners. Therefore, there will not be a credit for this grant on 2009 tax bills on properties with homestead exemption. According to legislation passed in 2009 (House Bill 143), the grant will only be made available in the future if state revenues grow at least 3% plus the rate of inflation. As a result, many Georgia homeowners will see a property tax increase of $200 to $300 on their 2009 tax bills.

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When is my tax bill due?
Taxes for real estate and business personal property are normally due in Elbert County by November 15th of each year. Mobile/modular homes are due May 1 of each year and motor vehicles are due based on the owners' birthday. After the due date, for real estate and business personal property, interest at the rate of 1% per month is charged. Additionally, a penalty of 10% will apply to all taxes that are not paid within 90 days of the deadline, however, homesteaded property with a tax liability of less than $500 does not receive the 90-day penalty. If the property taxes remain unpaid, the tax commissioner has the right and responsibility to levy on the property for non-payment. Of course we consider this a last resort for tax collection and prefer to use other collection methods.

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Is there anyway to reduce my tax bill?
Yes. There are several exemptions and special assessment programs available that may apply to your property. The most common are the homestead exemption for real estate and for business personal property there is the freeport exemption. Contact the Tax Commissioner's Office about homestead exemptions and the assessor's office about exemptions such as Freeport, conservation use, etc.

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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 recieve the benefit of the homestead exemption, the taxpayer must file an initial application. In Elbert county the application is filed with the Tax Commissioner. Georgia Law allows for the year-round filing of homestead applications, but the application must be recieved by April 1st of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. If the application is recieved after April 1st the exemption will apply to the next tax year. 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.

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Where do I get a copy of my warranty deed?
You can obtain a copy of your warranty deed from the Clerk of Superior Court record center. This office is located at the Elbert County Courthouse, 12 Oliver Street, Elberton, GA 30635.

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Do I pay taxes on my mobile/modular home?
Yes. Mobile/modular homes are considered personal property and are taxable in the State of Georgia. Tax must be paid annually with a due date of May 1. The owner of any mobile/modular home located in Elbert County must file a return and obtain a location permit. In order to obtain this permit the mobile home tax for the current year must be paid in full.

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Where do property tax dollars go?

  • To support administration of county government and the public school system;
  • To build and repair public buildings and bridges;
  • To pay expenses of courts, county jail and law enforcement;
  • To build and maintain county roads;
  • To provide for fire protection;
  • To provide for public health and sanitation;

This is an abbreviated list; please see the Official Georgia Code for a complete list. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-220)

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