Many counties in Georgia offer seniors a very large break on their property taxes. In most cases, the discount is related to an exemption of the school tax portion of the bill. However, it’s important to note that each county has different restrictions, qualifications and amount of discount offered. I recently called most of the local counties that I frequently service and inquired about the specifics of each counties plan. Overall, what I found shows that Cobb County offers the most generous discount and Fulton offers the least. If you are interested in this information for another county, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to assist you. Also, please note that while I believe this information to be accurate, it is not warranted in any way:
||Senior Property Tax Discount
||At age 62, you will be exempt from 100% of the school tax portion of your property tax bill up to a cap property value which fluctuates each year. For 2009, the cap is $358,475; so if your property is valued above that price, you’d get the maximum discount which would be 100% of the school tax for a property of that price and don’t get any additional benefit for more expensive homes. However, at age 65+, you get to remove the state portion of your tax bill and the property value cap limitation goes away; so you would get the full benefit if you own a home over the cap value and you are over 65 years of age.
||At age 62+, you would be exempt from 100% of the school tax portion of your bill with no income or property value restrictions. This is clearly the most generous senior tax break on the books in GA.
||Fulton is known for having high taxes and although they claim to have a senior exemption, it is likely not significant as they refused to tell me what the qualifications are and how much the discount is. They follow the policy that AFTER you buy a home, you apply and they will tell you if you qualify and how much you qualify for. Because of their secretiveness and reputation for having the highest tax rate of all of the GA counties, I have to assume that their discount is filled with restrictions and is virtually worthless. I did get them to mention that you get nothing if your income is above a certain level that fluctuates and is currently $55,742.
||At age 65, you get the state and school portion exempt; which is typically 82% of your total tax bill. I don’t believe there are any income restrictions either. The only restriction they mentioned is that the home has to be your one and only primary residence; so if you are claiming an exemption on property even in another state, you wouldn’t qualify.
||At age 65+ you get exempt from ½ of the school tax portion of your bill; but only if you earn less than $10,000/year not including private retirement, disability, 401K, and Social Security. At Age 70+, the discount increases to all of the school tax portion.
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