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Pickens County Property Tax Assessor

Tax Assessors Office
Determine Your Property Taxes
How to Pay Your Property Taxes

Roy G. Dobbs
Chief Tax Appraiser

Stephanie D. Gooch
Chief Deputy Appraiser

Main Office
1266 E. Church Street, Suite 121
Jasper, Georgia 30143

Contact
706-253-8700 phone
706-253-8703 fax

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How are your property taxes determined?

Step 1 – Determine the Fair Market Value

The term “Fair Market Value” simply means the estimated value the property would sell for on the open market in a reasonable period of time to an informed buyer. The Board uses three approaches to arrive at this figure:

Cost – What it would cost to replace the building, less depreciation, plus the land value itself.
Market – What similar properties are currently selling for on the open market.
Income – What the property is worth based on its current income yield.

After the Board establishes a new value, the taxpayer is notified and has 45 days to file an appeal.

Step 2 – Assemble the Tax Digest

Once the individual property assessment process is complete, the Board of Assessors creates the “Tax Digest” which is 40% of the total value of all taxable properties in the county. Here’s a sample breakdown of the Tax Digest:

  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Motor Homes
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Residential
  • Timber
  • Utilities

Step 3 – The Government Budgets

The Pickens County budget is determined by the County Commissioner. The Pickens County School budget is set by the School Board. The State of Georgia Millage is fixed at 0.25.

City budgets are assessed to residents of incorporated municipalities.

Step 4 – The Millage Rates

The Millage Rate is a simple computation. Each budget total is divided by the total digest value to produce a Millage Rate that is assessed tax in dollars per one thousand dollars of taxable property value.

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How do you pay your property taxes?

The yearly Property Tax is based on the Fair Market Value of your property on January 1st. The tax cycle prior to your receiving your tax bill is as follows:

January 1 to April 1 – Assessment

All property owners are required to have a personal property tax return and application for exemptions on file in the Tax Assessor’s office by April 1.

During this period, the Board of Tax Assessors determines the Fair Market Value of your property.

January 1 to April 1 – Homestead Exemptions

All property owners are required to have any applications for Homestead Exemptions on file in the Tax Assessor’s office by April 1. During this period, the Board of Tax Assessors sets your Homestead Exemption status.

June 1 to November 1 – Determination of the Millage Rates

The Millage rates (assessed tax in dollars per one thousand dollars of taxable property value) are set during this period by the Pickens County government, the School Board, the State Tax Commissioner, and the governments of the incorporated municipalities – based on the respective budgets, the Tax Digest prepared by the Tax Assessor’s office, and other revenue sources eg. Local Option Sales Tax.

Paying your Property Taxes

Once the process outlined above has been completed, our office mails your Property Tax statement. Unless there is a delay in the process, we plan on mailing these statements by October 1.

By law, the property tax statement must be mailed to the January 1st owner. If the property has been sold, please forward the statement to the new owner. The bill will not be sent directly to the new owner until the year after it has changed hands.

Your statement has the following information:

  • Property Identification – Owner, address, acreage, map number
  • Fair Market Value – The Appraisal from the Tax Assessor’s office
  • Assessed Value – 40% of the Fair Market Value
  • Tax Entity – The taxing entities – State, County, School, [and municipality for city residents] Exemptions – Itemized for each entity
  • Net Taxable – The itemized assessments adjusted for exemptions
  • Tax Rate – The Millage Rates for each entity
  • Tax Amount (Tax Rate x Net Taxable)/1000) – itemized for each entity
  • Total Taxes – The total taxes due for your property
  • Due Date – The last date for paying your taxes
  • Local Option Sales Tax Credit Information – Not all of the county revenue comes from property taxes. This shows the portion of the county millage offset by the Local Option Sales Tax revenue. There is a detailed accounting of the computations used to arrive at these figures on the Tax Assessor’s page.

Your statement has a detachable lower portion to be returned with your payment. The Date Due is 60 days after the statements are mailed, and is clearly displayed on both parts of the statement.

There is a 1% monthly charge for late payment, and an additional 10% charge after 90 days. Fifa charges are added to any statements turned over to the General Execution Docket.

You are responsible for paying your tax bill by the due date. If you do not receive a tax bill on any property you own, you must check with the Tax Commissioner’s Office for the amount due prior to the due date in order to avoid late charges.

The Tax Commissioner’s Office cannot guarantee receipt of a tax bill in the mail.

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Considering an appeal

Property owners can usually come fairly close in estimating what their property is worth on the open market. If you feel that your property has been incorrectly valued, you can schedule an appointment with the assessor’s office prior to filing an appeal.

We’ll be happy to review the property information with you and explain how your value was determined.

The basis of an appeal

If you continue to feel that the value placed on your property is in error, you should base your appeal on one of the following areas:

Taxability – Is the property taxable, or does it qualify for exempt status? See below: How do you qualify for exemptions?

Uniformity – How does the property value compare with the value of similar properties?

Value – Is your property valued at a fair market value?

The appeal process

An appeal must be filed IN WRITING at the Tax Assessor’s office within 45 DAYS of the DATE OF THE NOTICE.

Late appeals are invalid and will not be considered.

Levels of appeal

Board of Assessors – When you file an appeal, it is is reviewed by the Board of Assessors and a decision is made whether a change in valuation is warranted. The Board then informs you of the decision in writing in the form of a 21 day notice. You may either accept the decision and terminate the appeal, or initiate an appeal to the Board of Equalization or Arbitration.

The Board of Equalization or Arbitration – The Board of Equalization or Arbitration is an independent, three person board appointed by the Grand Jury specifically to hear unresolved appeals from taxpayers. After hearing both the assessor’s and the taxpayer’s positions, the Board renders a decision on the valuation.

Superior Court – If either party disagrees with the decision of the Board of Equalization, they may proceed to the next level of appeal – the Superior Court.

Property Tax Exemptions in Pickens County

The Georgia State Constitution provides for property tax exemptions to a homestead property owned by a taxpayer and occupied as a legal residence. Local governments may provide increased exemptions over the amount allowed by the State, and this is the case in Pickens County.

While Homestead Exemptions are renewed automatically once granted, you must apply for them initially.

Regular Homestead Exemption in Pickens County

  • You must own the property.
  • It must be your legal residence.
  • You must live there on January 1 of the year in which you apply.
  • Married couples are entitled to only one homestead exemption in all jurisdictions.
  • You must apply before April 1 of the application year.

Once you receive the Homestead Exemption, it is automatically renewed yearly until there is a change in ownership, residency, or the owner seeks to qualify for a different exemption. In Pickens County, the Regular Homestead Exemption is $5000 subtracted from the Assessed Value. This applies to the Pickens County and School Tax Assessments, but not the Georgia Assessment, where the Exemption is $2000.

So, for example, for a property with a Fair Market Value of $150,000:

  • Regular Homestead Exemption Fair Market Value $150,000
  • Assessed Value Fair Market Value times 40% = $60,000
  • Local Millage Rates (6.160 + 15.120) = 21.28
  • Local Adjusted Tax (Assessed Value – $5000.00) times Local Millages = $1170.40
  • State Millage Rate (0.250) 0.250
  • State Adjusted Tax (Assessed Value minus $2000.00) times State Millage = $14.50
  • Property Tax Local Adjusted Tax plus State Adjusted Tax = $1184.90

School Tax Homestead Exemption in Pickens County

Pickens County exempts elderly taxpayers on a low income from funding related to the school system:

  • You must have a Regular Homestead Exemption
  • You must be 62 years of age or older
  • The Gross Income for the entire household must be less than $25,000 (including Social Security, other retirement income, and income from the sale of property in the previous year)
  • Complete income documentation for all residents of the property must be provided with the application
    You must apply before April 1 of the application year
  • The School Tax Homestead Exemption excludes both the ad valorem assessment for schools and any taxation on retiring school bonds.

So, for example, for a property with a Fair Market Value of $150,000:

  • School Tax Homestead Exemption Fair Market Value = $150,000
  • Assessed Value Fair Market Value times 40% = $60,000
  • Local Millage Rates (6.160) 6.160
  • Local Adjusted Tax (Assessed Value minus $5000.00) times Local Millages = $338.80
  • State Millage Rate (0.250) 0.250
  • State Adjusted Tax (Assessed Value minus $2000.00) times State Millage = $14.50
  • Property Tax Local Adjusted Tax plus State Adjusted Tax = $353.30

Disability Homestead Exemption in Pickens County

Pickens County exempts disabled taxpayers on a low income from funding related to the school system:

  • You must have a Regular Homestead Exemption
  • The Gross Income for the entire household must be less than $25,000 (including Social Security, other disability income, and income from the sale of property in the previous year)
  • Complete income documentation for all residents of the property must be provided with the application
  • Certification of Total Disability by three Physicians must be provided with the application
  • You must apply before April 1st of the application year

The Disability Homestead Exemption excludes the ad valorem assessment for schools. So, for example, for a property with a Fair Market Value of $150,000:

  • Disability Homestead Exemption Fair Market Value $150,000
  • Assessed Value Fair Market Value times 40% = $60,000
  • Local Millage Rates (6.160) 6.160
  • Local Adjusted Tax (Assessed Value minus $5000.00) x Local Millages $338.80
  • State Millage Rate (0.250) 0.250
  • State Adjusted Tax (Assessed Value – $2000.00) times State Millage = $14.50
  • Property Tax Local Adjusted Tax plus  State Adjusted Tax = $353.30

Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Exemption (Constitutional)

Pickens County exempts veteran taxpayers with 100% service connected disabilities at a higher level:

  • You must have a Regular Homestead Exemption
  • Certification of Total Disability by the Veterans Administration and, in some cases, other physicians must be provided with the application
  • You must apply before April 1st of the application year

The Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Exemption in Pickens County is set at $43,000. So, for example, for a property with a Fair Market Value of $150,000:

  • Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Exemption Fair Market Value $150,000
  • Assessed Value Fair Market Value times  40% = $60,000
  • Total Millage Rate (6.160 plus  15.120 plus  0.250) = 21.53
  • Property Tax (Assessed Value minus  $43000) times  Millage Rate = $366.01

80% Freeport Exemption in Pickens County

Pickens County has enacted the 80% Freeport Exemption for manufacturers having inventory that meets these criteria:

  • Raw materials and goods in process of manufacture
  • Finished goods produced in Georgia within the last 12 months
  • Finished goods stored in Georgia no longer than 12 months and destined for shipment out-of-state

The application for exemption (GA PT-50PF) must accompany the Business Personal Property Tax Return when filing for the Freeport Exemption. This exemption must be filed each year. Inventory is reported at full cost at level of trade as of January 1st. The application is due by April 1st. The form is available in the Tax Assessor’s office.

Other Exemptions

There are other exemptions available through the Tax Assessor’s office including

  • Agricultural Preferentia
  • Conservations Use
  • Historical Property
  • Tax Exempt Property.

You may contact the Tax Assessor’s office directly for information about these programs.

Personal Property Taxes

Taxpayers are required to file at least an initial tax return for taxable property owned on January 1st of the tax year – filed by April 1st in the Tax Assessor’s Office. The tax return is a listing of the taxpayer’s declaration of the value of the property. Once an initial tax return is filed, it is automatically renewed at the value finally determined the preceding year and the taxpayer is required to file a new return only as additional property is acquired, improvements are made to existing property, or other changes occur.

A new return, filed during the return period, may be filed to declare a different value from the existing value where the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the current value placed on the property by the board of tax assessors. After the return is received, the taxpayer will be mailed an assessment notice.

Thus the personal property tax return serves the purpose of establishing the taxpayer’s appeal rights if the declared value is changed again by the board of tax assessors. The property tax form is available in the Tax Assessor’s office or click here to fill out the form online and print it on your computer.

Timber Sales Reporting

Taxpayers are required to file at least an initial tax return for taxable property owned on January 1 of the tax year – filed by April 1 in the Tax Assessor’s Office. The tax return is a listing of the taxpayer’s declaration of the value of the property. Once an initial tax return is filed, it is automatically renewed at the value finally determined the preceding year and the taxpayer is required to file a new return only as additional property is acquired, improvements are made to existing property, or other changes occur.

A new return, filed during the return period, may be filed to declare a different value from the existing value where the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the current value placed on the property by the board of tax assessors. After the return is received, the taxpayer will be mailed an assessment notice.

Thus the personal property tax return serves the purpose of establishing the taxpayer’s appeal rights if the declared value is changed again by the board of tax assessors.

The property tax form is available in the Tax Assessor’s office or click here to fill out the form online and print it on your computer.

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