SPECIALIZED AND PREFERENTIAL ASSESSMENT PROGRAMS
Several types of homestead exemptions have been enacted to reduce the burden of ad valorem taxation for Georgia homeowners. These exemptions apply to homestead property owned by and taxpayer and occupied as his or her legal residence (some exceptions to this rule apply and your tax assessor's office can explain them to you).
To receive the benefit of the homestead exemption, the taxpayer must file an initial application. In Walton County, the application is filed with the Tax Assessors Office. The application must be filed prior to April 1 of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. The homestead application is normally filed at the same time the initial tax return for the homestead property is filed.
Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year. The taxpayer does not have to apply again unless there is a change in ownership of property or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption, or the person relocates from the property.
The Local County Exemptions super cedes the state exemption amount when the local exemption is greater than the state exemption.
Under the authority of the State Constitution, several different types of homestead exemptions are provided. In addition, local governments are authorized to provide for increased exemption amounts and several have done so. The Tax Assessors office in Walton County can answer questions regarding the standard exemptions as well as any local exemptions that are in place. They can be contacted at 770)267-1352 if you have any questions as to which exemptions you may qualify for.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION FILING DATES ARE THROUGH April 1st.
Effective June 1, 2005 homestead exemptions may be filed for any time during the year. However, exemptions must be filed for by April 1 to apply to the current tax year. You must still own and occupy the property as of January 1 to be eligible.
With respect to all of the homestead exemptions, the board of tax assessors makes the final determination as to eligibility. If the homestead application is denied, the taxpayer must be notified and an appeal procedure then is available to the taxpayer.