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 dirvers 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 homestread. 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.