Homestead Exemptions are value exemptions that are subtracted from your personal residence's assessed value. The exemption lowers your property tax bill.
To qualify for a homestead exemption: You must own and be occupying your personal residence as of January 1. By state law, your homestead becomes your legal residence for all purposes in the state of Georgia, including vehicle registration and voting. You may qualify for only one homestead exemption in the state. In fact, State law provides for only one homestead exemption per immediate family group (husband and wife).
Deadline to apply: APRIL 1, in order to be effective in the current tax year.
ALTHOUGH YOU MAY APPLY ANY TIME AFTER MOVING INTO THE HOUSE, exemptions apply only to the house owned and occupied by the taxpayer as his/her legal residence as of JANUARY 1.
YOU MUST HAVE YOUR VEHICLES REGISTERED IN DOUGLAS COUNTY TO RECEIVE ANY EXEMPTIONS.
Senior or special exemptions must be applied in person in the Tax Office with proof of age, eligibility, and Douglas County tag registration.
It is unlawful to have more than one homestead.
Age requirements reflect the age of the property owner as of JANUARY 1st of any given year.
Mobile home owners must own the land and home to qualify.
All of these exemptions are also automatically renewed each year unless there is a change in ownership of the property, or unless you no longer meet the eligibility requirements. Refinancing your home does not require you to file homestead again.
The following exemptions are available in Douglas County, if you meet the above requirements:
- Regular Homestead:
A reduction of $2000 off the assessed value for state and school taxes and $6000 for county taxes; however, you must own and occupy home as your legal residence. Qualification of this exemption automatically qualifies you for the county freeze exemption (applies to the county tax portion only).
- Freeze Exemption: (Applies to County Tax portion only)
In a sense, this freezes the taxable value of your property, but it only applies to the county portion of your property taxes. How it works: As the fair market value increases on your homesteaded property, the freeze exemption also increases an equal amount. This offsets inflationary value increases. The frozen value stays in place until the property is sold or a new deed is filed on your property. Note: The Freeze Exemption does not apply to improvements. (Home improvements will increase your taxable value).
- Homeowners Tax Relief Grant:
Authorized by then Governor Roy Barnes and the General Assembly in 1999, provides a tax relief credit in the amount of $8,000 in assessed value. You must qualify for Regular Homestead to be entitled to this exemption. This relief is shown on the tax bill for State, County, City and School purposes as a credit against taxes that otherwise would have been due; labeled HTRG Credit on bill. Note: As of 2010, the Homeowners Tax Relief Grant will no longer be available, unless state revenues exceed the rate of inflation by 3%.
- 62 Year Old (All School):
A reduction of ALL your assessed value for SCHOOL tax. The only requirement is that you are 62 YEARS OF AGE as of JAN 1 and you must provide proof upon applying. Please Note: In order to receive this exemption, YOU MUST SPECIFICALLY APPLY FOR THIS EXEMPTION after you reach the age of 62.
- 65 Year Old:
A reduction of up to $8000 for COUNTY tax. Requirements include a) proof of your age and b) proof your NET income for the previous year did not exceed $10,000 (husband and wife) (DOES NOT include social security or retirement UP TO A SPECIFIED AMOUNT.)
- 65 Year Old FOR STATE TAX ONLY:
A reduction of 100% of the assessed value of home and up to 10 continguous acres of land AND $4,000 on balance of value. Proof of age required.
- 65 Year Old:
Villa Rica Resident a reduction of 100% assessed value for CITY TAX ONLY. Requirements include a) proof of your age and b) proof your NET income for the previous year did not exceed $10,000 (husband and wife) (DOES NOT include social security or retirement UP TO A SPECIFIED AMOUNT.)
- 65 Year Old - City of Douglasville Resident:
A reduction of $4000 off the assessed value for CITY TAX only. Requirements include a) proof of age; b) your home is within the City of Douglasville limits; and c) your total combined income from ALL sources cannot exceed $10,000.
- Disabled Persons:
A reduction of up to half your assessed value for school tax. You must provide two (2) documents from doctors and/or social security. Doctors letters must state you are disabled and unable to be gainfully employed or your disability is likely to be permanent.
- Disabled Veteran:
A reduction of up to $50,000 of your assessed value for state, county, and school tax. Requirements include a) a letter from the Veteran's Administration stating you have been adjudicated by the VA as being totally and permanently disabled and entitled to receive service connected benefits; or b) a letter from the Veteran's Administration stating you are an unremarried surviving spouse or a minor child of the above described veteran, provided you continue to occupy the home as your residence.
- Unremarried Surviving Spouse of a member of the armed forces who was killed in any war or armed conflict: Will be granted up to $50,000 homestead exemption for state, county, municipal and school purposes. The surviving spouse will continue to be eligible for the exemption as long as they do not remarry. Documentation from Secretary of Defense proving spousal benefits required.
- Unremarried Surviving Spouse of a Firefighter or Peace Officer killed in the line of duty: Exemption is 100% of all ad valorem taxes. Documentation required.
- Floating Homestead:
A freeze on your assessed value for state and county purposes only. Owner must be 62 years or older, gross income cannot exceed $30,000 (includes income from all sources and of anyone living in house). Applies to homestead and no more than 5 contiguous acres. ONCE THIS EXEMPTION IS APPROVED, TAXPAYER LOSES ANY EXISTING HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION FOR STATE AND COUNTY TAXES. CAUTION: THIS EXEMPTION MAY INCREASE YOUR TAXES.