One of the first things Frank B. Pallotta Law recommends to all of our clients after closing on your new home is to apply for the Homestead Tax Exemption through the county tax commissioner. The amount of money you will save is well worth the paperwork.
If a separate home, manufactured home, or condominium is the primary residence of the person who owns it, even if the land the home is on is leased, you may qualify for the Georgia Homestead Tax Exemption.
What Qualifies as a Homestead in Georgia?
Before you apply make sure your situation qualifies as best you can. To be eligible for the Georgia homestead tax exemption, the property must be your primary residence, and you have to have been the owner on January 1st of the year you want the exemption.
There are a few exceptions or allowances. If you move away temporarily with intention to return, up to two years, without forming a permanent residence somewhere else, the property is still considered a homestead; if you work somewhere far away from your residence, such as with the military.
How Does the Homestead Tax Exemption Work?
While the amount might vary county to county, typically 40% of the fair market value is taken then the homestead exemption of $10,000.00 is subtracted from that. After you’ve done that, you multiply the net number by the mileage rate to determine the tax.
If you’re a senior, a disabled veteran, or a surviving spouse of a firefighter, police officer, or veteran, in the state of Georgia, your Homestead Tax Exemption may be more than the standard exemption.
How to Apply for The Georgia Homestead Tax Exemption
You are not automatically going to get the Georgia Homestead Tax Exemption. You absolutely must apply for it once you qualify. Once approved, it will automatically renew every year for as long as it is the primary residence and you are the homeowner.
After that, find your appraisal. If you’ve just purchased your home and haven’t done any major renovations and changes, the one that was done before closing will still be effective. If you’ve made serious renovations or feel like the value has altered significantly since, you should consider getting a new appraisal done.
Find your county’s tax commissioner. Applications are made through your county tax commissioner. Most counties require you to appear in person to apply. Some, however, allow you to apply online. And while you’re doing this, be sure to download and fill out the application form. The information can be typed into the form before being printed, or printed and filled out manually.
What do I do if I have any more questions?
Reach out to us with your questions. We’re here to help you with your homestead. Frank B. Pallotta is a licensed Georgia Real Estate Lawyer with more than 30 years of experience helping clients navigate the legal processes associated with new homeownership.