How Taxes Are Calculated
The ad valorem tax, more commonly called property tax, is the primary source of revenue for local governments in Georgia. Ad valorem means "according to value."
Ad valorem taxes are calculated using the following formula:
(Fair Market Value x 0.4) x (Millage Rate/1,000) = Ad Valorem Tax
The first part of the formula, (Fair Market Value x 0.4), describes how the assessed value of your property is calculated. The county Board of Tax Assessors, which is appointed by the county Board of Commissioners, assesses all property for tax purposes. Assessments are by law based upon 40% of the fair market value as of January 1 each year.
A mill is 1/10 of 1 cent or $1 per $1,000 of assessed value. When we publish the millage rate, we are describing the number of mills. When we calculate taxes, we divide the number of mills by 1,000 to convert mills into whole dollars.
The millage rate is approved by each taxing authority. Therefore the individual millage rate for each taxing authority will be different. In particular, the millage rate for state taxes is falling at .05 mills every year. Currently, the millage rate for state taxes is 0.05. By 2016, state taxes will no longer be collected for property taxes.
The county Board of Commissioners sets the millage rate for county taxes, the county Board of Education sets the millage rate for county school taxes and the city authorities determine the rate for city taxes. These rates are generally set and approved in late July.
All property taxes are calculated in the same way for home, auto and personal property.
Our Annual Business Cycle
Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta, Smyrna and Powder Springs collect their own city taxes. For tax information, contact the city tax department directly.
Standing timber is assessed for ad valorem taxation only once, at the time of harvest or sale, separate and apart from the underlying land. Such timber is assessed at 100% of its fair market value.
All timber harvests or sales must be reported in the county where the timber was grown to either the Tax Commissioner's or the Tax Assessors' Office, depending on the type of transaction. The tax is paid to the Tax Commissioner of that county. Timber tax is collected in the accounting department where the timber deeds are stamped so they can be recorded in the Superior Court Clerk's Office.
Open Records Requests
The Georgia Open Records Act and related subtitles of Georgia law authorize a personal inspection of public records at a reasonable time and place unless prohibited by a court order or otherwise exempted by law. However, no public official or personnel is required to prepare reports, summaries or compilations not in existence at the time of an Open Records Request (OCGA 50-18-71j).
When making an Open Records Request, please complete our Open Records Request Form and explicitly state in your email that you wish to obtain documents. If you have questions, please submit those in a separate email.
All Open Records Requests are responded to between 1-3 business days. If we have not responded to your request after 3 business days, please contact one of our main offices directly.