How to Apply for Homestead Exemptions
Before you apply for homestead exemptions, be sure you meet the following criteria: You own, reside and claim the property as your primary legal residence on January 1.
Applying for homestead exemptions can be done in just a few simple steps.
- Confirm all applicants’ names appear on the deed to the property.
- Complete the online application. Be sure to apply for only the exemption type for which you are eligible.
- Provide a qualifying document to show proof of residency.
Once your application is submitted, we will review and determine if you qualify and inform you if additional documentation is required. It is important that you apply by April 1 in order to review exemption for the current year. Failure to properly and timely file the application constitutes a waiver of the exemption for that year.
Printed applications are accepted via mail or dropped off in-person at one of the property locations. Applications sent by mail must be USPS postmarked by April 1 of the year of filing. We do not accept metered or kiosk postmarks as proof of timely mailing.
Residents of a city must apply for the city exemptions directly with the city tax office. Questions about exemptions affecting city taxes should be directed to the appropriate city.
- A copy of your Georgia driver’s license showing you are a permanent and legal resident of both Cobb County and the state of Georgia. The driver’s license must also reflect the property address for which you are claiming the homestead exemption.
- A copy of your current registration or tax receipt for all vehicles you own showing that you paid motor vehicle taxes in Cobb County. This proof is in accordance with Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-444) which states, "Each motor vehicle owned by a resident of this state shall be returned in the county where the owner claims homestead exemption."
Under Georgia law, exemption applications must receive final approval by the Board of Assessors. If denied, you shall have the right of appeal to the county Board of Equalization as provided in O.C.G.A. § 48-5-311.
Once approved, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year as long as you continually occupy the home under the same ownership. The only time you must reapply for an exemption is if there is a change in ownership, residence or you wish to qualify for a higher exemption.
You are not eligible to apply for a homestead exemption if you or your spouse already claim a homestead exemption in another county or state. If you are claiming elsewhere, you must first notify the appropriate authority and provide a letter from that county or state reflecting exemptions have been removed. Property owners found to be claiming homestead exemption on more than one property will be subject to penalties and interest on any taxes saved.
You cannot apply for a homestead exemption on a rental property. Any person who makes any false statement or false representation of a material fact in support of a claim for exemption, or knowingly assists another in the preparation of any false or fraudulent claim, or enters into any collusion with another by the execution of a fictitious deed, deed of trust, mortgage or otherwise, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, such property shall be taxed in an amount double the tax otherwise to be paid. (OCGA 48-4-51).
Cobb County Basic Homestead
This is a $10,000 exemption in the county general and school general tax categories. The 2020 Basic Homestead Exemption is worth $273.60. In addition, you are automatically eligible for a $10,000 exemption in the school general tax category. When applying you must provide proof of Georgia residency.
Cobb County School Tax (Age 62)
This is an exemption from all taxes in the school general and school bond tax categories. In order to qualify, you must be 62 years of age on or before January 1 of the current tax year. When applying you must provide proof of age.
Cobb County $22,000 Disability
This is a $22,000 exemption in all tax categories except the state. In order to qualify, you must be disabled on or before January 1 and your annual net income cannot exceed $12,000 for the immediately preceding year. This includes income of your spouse but does not include income received as a result of the disability; e.g. disability retirement. When applying you must provide proof of income and a doctor’s certificate stating that you are disabled and that you are unable to be gainfully employed and likely to remain permanent.
State Senior Age 65 $4,000 ($10,000 Income Limit)
This is a $4,000 exemption in the state, county bond, and fire district tax categories. In order to qualify, you must be 65 years of age on or before January 1 and your annual net income cannot exceed $10,000 for the immediately preceding tax year. This includes income of your spouse but does not include Social Security or retirement income. When applying you must provide proof of age and income. You will also need to complete an Age 65 $4,000 Exemption Income affidavit.
State Veteran's Disability
This is a set exemption in all tax categories. In order to qualify, you must have 100% service-connected disability, be compensated at 100% due to unemployability, or be a disabled veteran as defined by O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48. When applying you must provide a letter from the Veteran’s Administration indicating the effective date of the Veteran’s 100% service-connected disability.
State Surviving Spouse
This is an exemption in all tax categories. In order to qualify, you must be the un-remarried surviving spouse or minor child(ren) of a member of the U.S. armed forces killed in any war or conflict or died as a result of service-connected injury or illness (as defined in O.C.G.A. § 48-5-52.1) and are receiving spousal benefits from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs. When applying you must provide a letter from the Secretary of Defense evidencing the un-remarried surviving spouse or minor child(ren) is receiving spousal benefits as a result of the death of their spouse.
State Surviving Spouse of a Peace Officer or Firefighter Killed in the Line of Duty
This is an exemption for the full value of the homestead. In order to qualify, you must be the un-remarried surviving spouse of a peace officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty. When applying you must provide a copy of the death certificate and documentation from the municipality evidencing the Firefighter or Peace Officer was killed in the line of duty.