REAL ESTATE TAXES IN FORSYTH COUNTY
Living in St Marlo Country Club certainly has its benefits, especially the LOW property taxes we enjoy by being located in Forsyth County. Forsyth County continues to enjoy its ranking in having one of the lowest millage rates in the state. See the chart below for a good example of how living in St Marlo is saving you thousands of dollars while enjoying the great amenities and schools we have to offer.
Tax Estimates for different Cities and Counties around Atlanta
Taxes in the individual Counties and Cities around Atlanta very widely. Typically, your Property Taxes are calculated in each County by taking 40% of your appraised value, subtracting a homestead exemption, then multiplying by the County Millage Rate.
Here are very rough calculations of the taxes in the following Counties, based on $500,000 purchase price, 40% assessment, $8,000 Homestead Exemption and an average millage rate in the County, if there were multiple:
|N. Fulton County||$6,607
Homestead Exemption is one way to reduce the amount of property tax you pay on your residential property. In Forsyth County, if you own the property, reside on that property, and are a legal resident of the County, all as of January 1st of the tax year, you may qualify for homestead exemption.
Legal resident means that you are registered to vote and/or register your vehicles in Forsyth County. You cannot be claiming homestead in any other State, County or location within Forsyth County.
You must apply for any of the following exemptions. Only one owner needs to meet the requirements to qualify for the full exemption. These exemptions are automatically renewed each year unless there is a change in ownership or you no longer meet the eligibility requirements. You do not need to reapply for exemptions if you refinance your home. For all exemptions, the property must be in the name of the applicant.
To legally change ownership into your name a new deed must be recorded in Forsyth County records.
The amount exempted is deducted from the 40% assessed value of the property in the applicable tax categories.
If a change of ownership occurs due to death or divorce, the new owner must file the change with the Tax Assessor?s Office and reapply for any exemption granted in the previous owner's name.
REGULAR - $8,000 HOMESTEAD
The regular homestead exemption reduces the gross assessment which is applied to certain portions of the mileage rate by $8,000. The regular homestead grants an $8,000 reduction to your assessed value against the County M & O and the Fire portion of the mileage rate. This is a special local exemption. The school and state portion of the mileage rate will be reduced by $2,000 per the state allowed homestead exemption.
As a result of legislation approved by voters in 2001, Forsyth County homestead claimants are now eligible for the county floating homestead exemption, in addition to any other exemption for which they may be eligible. Homestead applications will be used to qualify all taxpayers for the county value offset exemption.
In the absence of a mileage rate increase, the value offset exemption holds constant the county government and fire portion of your taxes when there is a property value increase. Taxpayers who file for this exemption in 2006 establish their base year and value at the 2005 level. Thus, your county taxes will be calculated according to your base year, established at the time of application. School and state taxes will continue to be calculated on the current year's value. Please note that you will receive the exemption savings only if your property experiences an increase in assessed value.
TOTAL SCHOOL TAX HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
Homeowners who are 65 years of age on or before January 1 are entitled to a full exemption in the school general and school bond tax categories. You must furnish proof of age when you apply. This benefit of living in Forsyth County is often overlooked and one of the best benefits if you qualify for this Homestead Exemption. Here's an example based on an actual tax bill:
Total tax bill: $5,722
School portion of the tax bill: $4,052
New tax bill after school tax homestead exemption: $1,670
THAT'S A SAVINGS OF 71% OFF YOUR TAX BILL...JUST FOR LIVING IN FORSYTH COUNTY
OTHER SCHOOL TAX HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
Homeowners who are 62 years of age on or before January 1 may be eligible for school tax exemptions that are based on income.
Local legislation grants school tax exemption on your home and 3 acres, or $20,000, whichever is greater. Gross Income from the entire household cannot exceed $16,000.
State law grants a $10,000 school tax exemption against the school portion of the millage rate, provided that your Net Income is $10,000 or less.
Homeowners who are 65 years of age on or before January 1 may be eligible for a double ($16,000) homestead exemption.
To qualify the Gross Income from all sources in the household cannot exceed $40,000.
Forsyth County offers two local exemptions to disabled taxpayers.
One exempts your home and three acres from the school portion of the tax bill. Gross Income cannot exceed $16,000.
The other grants a $16,000 exemption against the county and fire portion of the millage rate. Gross Income cannot exceed $40,000.
There are no age limitations on the disability exemptions. The applicant must provide two (2) letters from physicians stating that he applicant is totally and permanently disabled, or one (1) letter from a physician and a copy of their disability statement from Social Security.
This exemption applies to all tax categories. Homeowners who are disabled veterans as defined in O.C.G.A. 48-5-48 are entitled to a $50,000 exemption on school and state taxes, and an $88,000 exemption on county and fire taxes. You must provide legally required documentation. This exemption extends to the unremarried surviving spouse or minor children at the time of the applicant's death, provided they continue to occupy the home as a residence and homestead.
SURVIVING SPOUSE HOMESTEAD
This $50,000 exemption applies to the state, county, municipal and school tax categories as defined in O.C.G.A.section 48-5-52.1. Any citizen who is the unremarried surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed forces killed in any war or conflict and receiving spousal benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs is eligible. Legal documentation is required.
If you make application for any homestead with income requirements you will be required to submit a copy of your current years Federal Income tax return, a copy of your social security benefit statement, a copy of any 1099 retirement statements, IRA and interest statements. (If the applicant does not file an income tax return, all other information is required.)
FILING PERIOD FOR ALL HOMESTEADS
You may apply for exemptions year-round, however, you must apply by April 1 to receive the exemption for that tax year. Any application received after this date will not be processed until the next tax year.
DRIVER'S LICENSE (If you drive)
COPY OF RECORDED WARRANTY DEED
WHERE TO FILE
FORSYTH COUNTY TAX ASSESSORS
110 E. MAIN STREET, SUITE 260
CUMMING, GA 30040
8:30 - 5:00
MONDAY - FRIDAY
Property owners will have the opportunity to appeal their property value as shown in the assessment notice for 45 days after the date of the notice.
The appeal process contains three different options for property owners. One option is the Board of Equalization, which is comprised of three citizens appointed by the Grand Jury to hear property tax appeals. There is no charge for this option of the appeal process.
Other appeal options contain fees. In one such option, a property owner may choose to move forward with the process of arbitration without an appeal to Superior Court. Another appeal option would involve an owner of a Non-Homestead property valued at more than $1,000,000 deciding to appeal to a hearing officer with appeal rights to Superior Court.
Property owners wishing to appeal their property value must submit the appeal in writing. Taxpayers desiring to appeal the estimated property value shown on the assessment notice should indicate which appeal process they elect to utilize.
For a summary of the various methods to appeal, visit http://www.qpublic.net/ga/forsyth
Forms and Applications
For a full list of forms and applications, visit http://www.qpublic.net/ga/forsyth/forms.html
Mathematics of Property Tax
To determine the amount of your property taxes, several values are needed. These values are the Fair Market Value (FMV), Assessed Value (ASV), and the Millage Rate. The Millage Rate is defined as dollars per $1,000.00 of assessed value. For 2011, the Millage Rate for Forsyth County has been set at $26.624 per $1000.00 or the decimal equivalent of .026624.
Fair Market Value (F.M.V.) X 40% = Assessed Value
Assessed Value X Millage = Tax
Millage is usually expressed as dollars per $1,000.00 of Assessed Value
Example: In 2011, Forsyth County's millage rate is set at .026624. If your property has a FMV of $100,000, the ASV would be 40% or $40,000. Multiply the ASV of $40,000 by the millage rate of .026624 to determine your property taxes. In this example, property taxes would be $1064.96.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I just bought a new house and need to file for homestead exemption. When do I do this?
A. You may apply for exemptions year-round, however, you must apply by April 1 to receive the exemption for that tax year. Any application received after this date will not be processed until the next tax year.
Q. What papers do I need to file for homestead?
A. You will need a copy of your recorded warranty deed and your driver's license. If you moved to Forsyth from another County or State where you were receiving homestead, you must provide a letter from that county stating your homestead exemption has been removed.
Q. Is the application available on line?
A. Yes. You can download the application and mail it to our office. Please include a copy of your drivers license. We also caution that if you are over 62 years of age, that you apply in person. The application that can be downloaded is only the regular homestead and the freeze exemption, and will not automatically give you any additional elderly exemptions
Q. Where do I go to file?
A. You file with the Forsyth County Board of Tax Assessors. The office is located in downtown Cumming, at 110 East Main Street. We are located on the second floor of the administration building in Suite 260.
Q. What exactly is the floating homestead exemption?
A. When you apply for homestead, you are also applying for the floating homestead. This exemption freezes your assessment at the previous years value. It will remain at that value as long as you reside in your home. This exemption applies only to the county and fire portion of the millage rate, but does not apply to the school portion.
Q. If I receive the floating homestead, does this mean that my property will not be reassessed while I own my home?
A. No. The Board of Assessors will conduct reappraisals as needed. The difference in any assessment increase then becomes homestead exemption.
Q. I hear that Forsyth County has a school tax homestead exemption. What are the qualifications for that?
A. To qualify for the school tax homestead exemption, you must be 65 years of age on January 1st of the year you apply. You must make application and provide proof of age. Your drivers license or birth certificate will be needed.
Q. My property is in both my name and my spouse's name. Do both of us need to be 65 years of age to qualify.
A. No. Only one person, who has title and occupies the home, needs to be 65 years of age.
Q. How does the school tax homestead work?
A. This exemption grants a 100% exemption from school tax and school bonds.
Q. Does this exemption apply to all the property that I own?
A. The school tax exemption applies to the home you reside in, and the land that is with it. It does not apply to any additional property you may own, or to any rental or commercial properties you may own.
Q. What other exemptions are available?
A. The other exemptions that are available are for persons over 62 or 65 years of age. These exemptions have income limitations. There are also exemptions for those that are 100% disabled and or for those who are disabled veterans. Details of these exemptions are available on our website or in our office.
Q. How do I know what my property is appraised at?
A. If your property is reassessed, you will receive a change of assessment notice from the Board of Tax Assessors.
Q. I think my property value is too high. What can I do about it?
A. You may appeal your value within 45 days of the receipt of an assessment notice. The directions will be on the notice.
Q. What can I do if I want the Assessors to consider particular issues for my valuation, such as a recent appraisal, physical changes in my property, etc.?
A. Each year between January 1 and April 1, you may file a tax return, and declare a value. The return will be reviewed by the Board of Tax Assessors, and if they do not agree with your return, you will receive a change of assessment notice and have appeal rights at that time.
Q. I just received my tax bill, and I think it is too high. Can I appeal now?
A. No. Generally by the time the tax bill is issued, the time to appeal has passed. The only issue that may be appealed is your property value. The amount of the tax bill cannot be appealed.
Q. How is the amount of my tax bill determined?
A. Taxes are calculated in the following manner:
Property Fair Market Value - The Board of Tax Assessors establish the Fair Market Value of the property.
(X)Assessment Level - The assessment level in the State of Georgia is 40 percent.
(-) Applicable Exemptions - The Board of Tax Assessors determine the eligibility of exemptions. The amount will vary depending on the age and/or eligibility of taxpayer.
(X) Millage Rate - Millage rates are set by each taxing jurisdiction. These include the County Commissioners and the, County Board of Education. The State of Georgia collects 1/4 mill.
= Tax Dollar Amount
Q. How is the millage rate determined?
A. It is the duty of the Board of Tax Assessors to compile a tax digest, and turn it over to the Tax Commissioner to apply all exemptions. The tax digest is then distributed to all taxing jurisdictions. Each taxing jurisdiction sets the rate for that particular entity. The basic formula is as follows: Total amount of tax digest / Budget of taxing jurisdiction = Millage Rate.