Georgia’s homestead exemption is a property tax break for homeowners. The exemption reduces the assessed value of your home in calculating your property tax bill. The amount of the exemption and how it is applied varies by county, but all homeowners will save a few hundred to over a thousand dollars in property taxes each year by taking advantage of the exemption.
In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, the property has to be your primary residence as of January 1st of the year for which the homestead exemption is being claimed. Filing is a one-time thing; once the exemption is in place, it continues year-to-year until the property ceases to be your primary residence (e.g., when you sell it or convert it to a rental property).
The “basic” homestead exemption is available on all primary residences. Most counties offer additional exemptions to the elderly, disabled and veterans. Some cities offer exemptions as well (which you do not need to apply for separately).
If you are a 2016 homebuyer (or if you purchased in a previous year but never filed for the homestead exemption), the deadline for filing the application is this April 1st for 2017 property taxes. If you miss the deadline, your exemption won’t kick in until 2018. Several metro Atlanta counties (including Fulton and Dekalb) enable you to file online. Keep in mind that you can only claim one “homestead” and, in order to claim the exemption, your vehicles must be registered in the county where the home is located.
Having the homestead exemption saves you real money year after year. If you have any questions on applying for the exemption, contact me or one of our associates.