Homestead exemptions have been enacted to reduce the burden of ad valorem taxation for Georgia homeowners. The exemptions apply to homestead property owned by the taxpayer and occupied as his or her legal residence. Homestead exemptions are deducted from the assessed value of the qualifying property (40 percent of the fair market value).
To receive the benefit of the homestead exemption, the taxpayer must file an initial application. In Macon County the application is filed with the Board of Tax Assessors. With respect to all of the homestead exemptions, the Board of Tax Assessors makes the final determination as to eligibility; however, if the application is denied the taxpayer must be notified and an appeal procedure then is available for the taxpayer.
Georgia law allows for the year-round filing of homestead applications but the application must be received by April 1 of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. Homestead applications received after that date will be applied to the next tax year.
Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year and the taxpayer does not have to apply again unless there is a change of residence, ownership, or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.
Under authority of the State Constitution several different types of homestead exemptions are provided. These are called State Exemptions. In addition, local governments are authorized to provide for increased exemption amounts. These are called Local County Exemptions. Macon County has no such local county exemptions. The Board of Assessors can answer any questions regarding the standard exemptions. The Assessor’s Office number is 478-472-6560.