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Property taxes are a type of ad valorem tax — a tax that’s based on the assessed value of the property.

Real estate taxes vs Property taxes

Sometimes real estate and property taxes are used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. Real estate taxes refers to the taxes on homes and land, whereas property taxes deal with all tangible property, which includes things like vehicles. Not all Property Taxes are real estate taxes, but all real estate taxes are property taxes. 

How property taxes are calculated

Property tax is calculated by multiplying the assessed value of your home, multiplied by the levy rate set by the municipal tax authority. The home is assessed based on the recent sale of similar homes in your neighborhood, the square footage, location, and the results of a home inspection to determine the assessed value — which is also considered the most stable determined value of your home. 

Paying Property Taxes 

If you haven’t gone with a mortgage through a bank or have paid your home off entirely, every six months or once a year a tax bill will arrive at your home, and it will be a simple matter of following the directions and paying the bill online with your bank or via sending in a check. If you’re still paying your mortgage off however, part of the payment you make every month is automatically set aside for that payment. 

If you don’t pay your property taxes, the tax authority will most likely place a lien on your home. Liens don’t take possession of your home, but when you go to sell with a lien on the property the city or tax municipality will take the back taxes. 

Property Tax Exemptions

The Georgia Homestead Tax Exemption is the largest tax exemption offered by the state of Georgia. Though it isn’t the only one available, there are dozens of little nuances. The Georgia department of revenue website has a very thorough list.

What do property taxes pay for?

Property taxes pay for local services and facilities that we use every day. Everything from libraries and firefighters to road maintenance and community services. 

Any More Questions?

Call us! The purchase of any home purchase in Georgia requires a licensed real estate attorney present at closing by law. If you’re taking steps to close on your house in the next 30-60 days give us a call! At Frank B. Pallotta Law we are licensed Real Estate Lawyers with 20 years of experience helping our clients in Georgia navigate the closing process. Reach out to us with your questions. We’re here to help.