DUE DATE FOR BRYAN COUNTY
PROPERTY TAXES IS NOVEMBER 15th.
Carrol Ann Coleman
Bryan County Tax Commissioner
The process for taxing real property begins with the purchase of property. Once a sale is finalized, a deed is recorded at the Clerk of Superior Court's Office in Bryan County, Georgia. The Tax Assessor's office then assigns a value to the property and an assessment notice is mailed to each individual property owner the following year. The property owner then has a 45 day period to appeal the assigned value.
Once the appeal process period has ended, a tax digest is compiled. The tax digest is an official listing of all property owners in the county, the assessed value of the property they own, and the taxes levied on the property. This is the central document of the tax office. It is a complete listing of property owners, mailing addresses, legal descriptions, property locations, exemptions, assessments and taxes due. Once completed, the digest is submitted to the State Department of Revenue for approval by the Director of the Property Tax Division.
After approval is received by the Bryan County Tax Commissioner, bills are prepared and mailed out generally around September. The taxpayer then has a period equal to at least 60 days to pay this annual tax bill.
If bills are not paid by the due date, 1% interest incurs each month or fraction thereof on the amount due and begins the day after the due date. 90 days after due date, a 10% penalty is added. If the tax bills remain unpaid after becoming 30 days delinquent, the Tax Commissioner, as Ex-Officio Sheriff, may begin tax sale proceedings.
Business Personal Property
If you own a business - furniture, fixtures, equipment, inventory, and supplies are considered personal property. Ownership of personal property is established as of January 1 each year. A property tax return must be filed with the Tax Assessor's Office annually by April 1. Tax returns are usually mailed out in January. You are required to send in a tax return each year you are in business. It must be established that you are no longer in business in order to discontinue tax generation. If a tax return is not filed, state established values are assessed on the property, and tax payment is expected.
Assessment Notices are normally mailed in the spring by the tax assessors office. There is an appeal period of 45 days. Any questions concerning valuations (assessments) should be directed to the Tax Assessor's Office by calling 912-653-3889.
Mobile Home Taxation
According to GA Law, all mobile homes must display a current decal on or before May 1st each year. This law applies to mobile homes located in both incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county. The decal aids in identification and serves as evidence that there are no outstanding taxes on the mobile home. The decal should be placed on the home in a location which would make it easily visible to employees of the tax assessor's office when they visit the property to inspect the home. Decals from previous years do not have to be displayed on the mobile home, only the decal for the current year.
Mobile home owners are billed for the entire tax year based on the mobile home(s) which they owned on January 1st. If a person trades in one mobile home for another during the year, that person would pay taxes on the original home for that year, and would pay taxes on the new one the following year. The tax bill is based on the fair market value of the home as determined by the tax assessor's office and the current millage rate as set by the governing authorities each year. For billing purposes, mobile homes are classified as either Homestead or Non-Homestead mobile homes. Homestead mobile homes are those which the owner has applied for and is receiving a homestead exemption on the land and home. Non-Homestead mobile homes are those which are not receiving the exemption.
WHAT IS HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION?
The standard homestead exemption is $2,000 taken from the assessed value of the land and home. The assessed value in Georgia is always 40% of the fair market value, and is the value to which the millage rate is applied on the bill. This means that home owners who are receiving a standard homestead exemption pay taxes on an assessed value that is $2,000 less than it would be without the exemption. Assuming a millage rate of 20.50, this would mean a savings of $41 on the same value if the exemption is applied. To qualify for homestead exemption for a given year, the mobile home and the land on which it is situated must be owned by the same person, and the person must live in the mobile home on January 1st of the year of the exemption. The deadline for applying for homestead exemption is April 1st of the year you are applying. You may be eligible for an additional exemption over the standard $2,000 if you meet certain age and income requirements. Please contact the Tax Commissioner's Office if you wish to apply for homestead exemption or if the status, ownership, or residency has changed since this status affects how the mobile home is billed.
***** CLICK HERE to view the Bryan County Homestead Exemptions Chart. *****
HOW MOBILE HOMES ARE BILLED
Non-Homestead mobile home bills are mailed out each year in January, and these bills are due by May 1st , which is also the deadline for displaying the decal. Upon payment of this bill, the owner receives a decal for the current year. For example, if a person had a non-homestead mobile home on Jan 1, 2011, they would receive a bill for it in January, which would be due by May 1, 2011 and upon payment the owner would receive a 2011 decal, valid until May 1, 2012.
Homestead mobile homes are billed in a different manner than non-Homestead mobile homes, since they are taxed together with the land they occupy instead of individually. For a homestead mobile home, the mobile home value is added to the value of the owner's land. When the owner receives their property tax bill, the bill is based on the value of both the mobile home and the land as of January 1st of that year. These bills are due usually around the end of December. Since Homestead mobile homes are not actually billed until the end of the tax year, and since all mobile homes must display a current decal by May 1st , the owner of a Homestead mobile home is given a decal for the following year, upon payment of the current year's taxes. Accordingly, those who are Homestead actually receive their mobile home decals a year in advance. For example: If a person were receiving homestead on a mobile home on Jan 1, 2011, they would receive one bill around the end of October 2011 for the value of both their land and their mobile home. Upon paying this bill for the year 2011, they would receive a 2012 decal.
VACANT & ABANDONED MOBILE HOMES
GA law requires that ALL mobile homes, even those which are not being used or are used only for storage, must display a current decal each year by May 1st. If you own an abandoned mobile home which is in poor condition and feel that it is valued excessively for tax purposes, you must contact the Tax Assessor's Office before May 1st so that we may inspect the home and reconsider the value for that tax year. Mobile homes are removed from the tax digest completely only in cases in which the Tax Assessor's Office has deemed the mobile home junked or worthless for any use. In any case, the home must be inspected by a member of the Tax Assessor's Office in order for us to determine its taxable status and value.
MOVING MOBILE HOMES WITHOUT A DECAL
It is illegal to move a mobile home on which a current decal is not displayed. Before attempting to move a mobile home, even if it is being moved out of the county, make sure all taxes are paid and that the home is displaying a current decal.
MOBILE HOMES MOVED FROM OTHER COUNTIES
Anyone who wishes to register and obtain a decal in Bryan County for a mobile home which has been previously situated in another county must first provide proof that the current taxes have been paid in that county. The mobile home can then be properly registered for taxes in Bryan County and a decal provided at no charge for that year. The owner will get a tax bill for the home the following year, provided the home is still in Bryan County on Jan 1st .
MOBILE HOME VALUES
The Tax Assessor's Office is charged with the responsibility of determining the fair market value of your mobile home for tax purposes each year. This value should reflect the value of your mobile home as of Jan 1st of the tax year and includes the value of any decks, porches, or other additions or other improvements to the home. If you have a question about your value or feel that it is excessive, please contact the Tax Assessors's Office at 912-653-3889 so that they may reconsider the value. The deadline to appeal non-homestead mobile home values is May 1st. The ad valorem tax notice for a non-homestead mobile home also serves as the assessment notice for the same year as the tax bill.
Beginning January 1, 1992, all timber harvests or sales must be reported on Department of Revenue form PT-283T. There are three different reports of timber tax:
Single Lump Sum Sale of TimberA lump sum sale is one where the total price paid for the timber is paid all at once, normally up front. The purchaser of the timber must remit the taxes and the PT-283T form to the Tax Commissioner within 5 business days of purchase.
Quarterly Summary of Timber Sold by Unit PriceA unit price sale is one where the purchaser pays the seller for the timber as it is cut based on volumes of wood harvested. Since these transactions occur at various intervals during the term of the contract, the law does not require a PT-283T report be filed each time payments are made, rather a quarterly report of timber harvested during the quarter is all that is necessary. Purchaser of the timber must complete, sign and submit two copies to seller and one copy to Board of Assessors within 45 days after end of quarter. Seller must sign and submit one of the copies to Tax Assessors within 60 days after end of the quarter. Seller will be billed by the Tax Commissioner for taxes due.
Quarterly Summary of Timber Harvested by OwnerStanding timber that is harvested by the owner of the underlying land must be reported as Owner Harvests. During the startup of this law, persons owning timber on January 1, 1992 and not owning the underlying land fall into this category as well. Owner must complete and submit one copy to Board of Tax Assessors within 45 days after the end of the quarter. Owner will be billed by the Tax Commissioner for taxes due.
The PT-283T form can be obtained in the Bryan County Tax Commissioner's Office. The Tax Commissioner's phone number is 912-653-3880.
Property Value Appeal Process
Appeal Process Info (Link)
The Bryan County Board of Tax Assessors is required by Georgia State Law to send out an assessment notice informing taxpayers of valuation changes. Upon receiving the notice, a taxpayer has 45 days from the date on the notice to file a written appeal.
TIME IS IMPORTANT - LATE APPEALS ARE INVALID.
For further information, click on the link above, or contact the Tax Assessor's office at 912-653-3889.
Heavy Duty Equipment
Heavy duty equipment purchased from a dealer by an individual or business is subject to ad valorem tax in the year of purchase. Within 30 days of the end of the month in which the purchase was made, a return must be completed and submitted to the Tax Commissioner.
Tax is computed based on 40% of the purchase price, times the millage rate, times 33 1/3%, and is then prorated for the number of months remaining in the calendar year.
*** In no event shall the ad valorem tax due be less than $100.00 for the year of purchase.
Mathematics of Property Tax
To determine the amount of your property taxes, several values are needed. These values are the Fair Market Value (FMV), Assessed Value (ASV), and the Millage Rate. The Millage rate is determined by the proposed budget divided by the tax digest. The Millage Rate is defined as dollars per $1,000.00 of assessed value.
Fair Market Value (F.M.V.) X 40%=Assessed Value
Assessed Value X Millage Rate = Tax
Tax digest = Total of all Assessments
Millage Rate = Proposed Budget Tax digest
Millage is usually expressed as dollars per $1,000.00 of Assessed Value
Fair Market Value 100,000.
Assessed Value 40,000.
Tax Due @ 1 MIL $40.
Tax Due @ 25 MILS $1000.