Homestead Exemptions

Several types of 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 their legal residence (some exceptions to this rule apply and the tax commissioner can explain them).

Benefits

To receive the benefit of the homestead exemption, taxpayers must file an initial application. In Dade County the application is filed with the Board of Assessors. Georgia law allows for the year-round filing of homestead application, but the application must be received by March 1 of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. Homestead applications received after that date will be applied to the next tax year.

Renewal

Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year and the taxpayer does not have to apply again unless there is a change of ownership or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.

Increased Exemption Amounts

Under authority of the State Constitution, several different types of homestead exemptions are provided. In addition, local governments are authorized to provide for increased exemption amounts and several have done so. The tax Commissioner in your county can answer questions regarding the standard exemption as well as any local exemptions that are in place. The Local County Exemptions supersede the state exemption amount when the local exemption is greater than the state exemption.

Max Annual Income

Dade County has such an exemption. Dade County's Local Homestead Exemption is available to homeowners with an annual income not exceeding $15,000 (homeowners who are 70 or older on or before January 1 of the year in which application for exemption is made). This exemption exempts county taxes only, and can be for up to five acres on the homestead property.

65 & Older

Dade County also has a local exemption for 65 and older for school M&O relief. The homestead property and up to five acres will be exempt from school tax. Applications are accepted in the same time frame as state exemptions. Homeowners must be 65 or older by January 1 of the taxable year.

Value Freeze

Dade County has a Value Freeze: H.B. 918 / 919 allows the taxpayer to freeze the assessment, based upon the previous year value, on homestead property. This is for county and school purposes on your house and up to three acres.

  1. Standard Homestead
  2. Elderly General
  3. Disabled Veterans
  4. Floating or Varying
  5. Homeowner Tax Relief Grant

Ownership & Residency

The Standard Homestead Exemption is available to all homeowners who otherwise qualify by ownership and residency requirements and it is an amount equal to $2,000 which is deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead property. The exemption applies to the maintenance and operation portion of the mill rate levy of the county and the county school system and the State mill rate levy. It does not apply to the portion of the mill rate levied to retire bonded indebtedness.

Elderly School Tax Exemption

The Standard Elderly School Tax Homestead Exemption is an increased homestead exemption for homeowners 62 and older where the net income of the applicant and spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the preceding year. Social Security income and certain retirement income are excluded from the calculation of the income threshold. This exemption applies to school tax including taxes levied to retire bonded indebtedness. The amount of the exemption is up to $10,000 deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead property.

Final Determination

With respect to all of the homestead exemptions, the Board of Tax Assessors makes the final determination as to eligibility; however, if the application is denied, the taxpayer must be notified. An appeal procedure then is available for the taxpayer.