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235 Peachtree Street, Suite 1400, N.E., Atlanta, Ga. 30303 | Phone: 404-612-6440
Fulton County Board of Assessors Answers to Frequently Asked Questions 1. What are the duties of the Board of Assessors? Appraise all real and personal property Process exemption applications Process property appeals Maintain records of property ownership Maintain property tax maps Prepare real and personal property tax digest annually 2. What are the duties of the Tax Commissioner? Calculate and print tax bills Collect taxes Distribute tax monies to the County, School Boards, City of Atlanta, and other municipalities Process motor vehicle tag applications & renewals 3. How is fair market value defined? Fair market or appraised value is the amount a willing seller would sell and a willing buyer would purchase for property in an arm’s length transaction. 4. What is the assessed value of a property? Assessed value is 40% of the fair market value. 5. Who sets the millage rate or tax rate? The Board of Commissioners, Atlanta & Fulton County School Boards, and city governing authorities set the millage rate. 6. When do I apply for Homestead Exemption or any other exemption? You can apply for homestead exemption at anytime. However, you must apply between January 1st and April 1st   for the exemption to be effective for the current year. Applications received after April 1st will be processed for the following year. 7. Who qualifies for Homestead Exemption? If you are the owner and reside at the property on January 1st, you qualify for Homestead Exemption that year. 8. Do I have to apply for Homestead Exemption every year? No. Once granted Homestead exemption, you do not have to reapply again unless there is an ownership change on the property or if you move to a different property that you claim as your primary residence. 9. How much money do I save if I qualify for a regular homestead exemption? If you live in unincorporated Fulton County, you save approximately $600 in property taxes with a basic exemption. If you reside in the City of Atlanta, a basic exemption saves approximately $1,200. Note that these are average savings based on a basic exemption. 10. If I own more than one property, can I get a Homestead Exemption on more than one property? No. It is illegal to have more than one Homestead Exemption. You can only receive an exemption on the home you consider your primary residence. 11. What is tangible personal property? There are two classifications of tangible property, real and personal. Real property can be defined as land and permanent improvements to the land, such as buildings. Personal property is defined as anything movable in nature, such as furniture, equipment and inventory. 12. Why should I file a personal property report? Georgia Code 48-5-3 provides that all property is subject to taxation unless specifically exempted. Personal property is subject to taxation just as real property. Because of its movable nature, it is challenging to track the condition and the amount of personal property owned by a company or business, as this may change dramatically from one year to another. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the property owner to complete the required forms to supply the information needed for the Assessors to determine the property’s fair market value. 13. What type of report do I complete? If you operate a business or own assets used in a business, you should complete the Business Personal Property Return. If you own a boat and motor, you should complete the Marine Personal Property Return. If you own an airplane, you should complete the Aircraft Personal Property Return. These forms are available at www.fultonassessor.org on the Forms and Documents page. Forms are mailed to business owners who owned personal property the previous year, as well as to new business owners who began business during the previous year. 14. What is the filing deadline? The deadline to file all personal property returns is April 1st   of each year. The Board of Assessors cannot grant extensions or relieve penalties. Therefore, it is very important for property owners to file in a timely manner. 15. What is Freeport Exemption? Freeport exemption is an exemption on inventory of Georgia manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. The exemption must be applied fannually by April 1 www.fultonassessor.org on the Forms and Documents page   to receive maximum exemption. Applications are also accepted until June 1st but with reduced exemption granted. Forms are available here. 16. Is the assessment notice I received the same thing as my property tax bill? No. The assessment notice is not a bill. Although Georgia law requires that the assessment notice give an estimated tax amount, its primary purpose is to advise of your property’s appraised value as established by the Board of Assessors. Do not send payments until you receive a tax bill from the Tax Commissioner. 17. Why won’t the numbers on the property tax assessment notice match my property tax bill exactly? State law requires that counties use the previous year’s millage rates to estimate taxes on the assessment notice. Any change in millage rates by a taxing authority could create a change in your property tax bill. An increase or decrease in your property value could also create a change in your tax bill, even if the millage rates stay the same. 18. Can I appeal my property taxes if I think the bill is too high? No. You cannot appeal your property taxes. You can appeal your property value within 45 days of any assessment notice. 19. Where do I appeal my property value if I think the value is not accurate? You can appeal property values to the Board of Assessors and the appeal must be in writing or via online appeal filing. An appeal form is available on the Board of Assessors website on the Forms and Documents page and on the E-file page. 20. Where can I get information on homes or businesses in my neighborhood? Property data can be found on the Board of Assessors website at www.fultonassessor.org on the Property Records page.
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