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% of the fair market value).
To receive the benefit of the homestead exemption, you must file an initial application. In Lowndes County the application is filed with the Board of Tax Assessors (Tax Assessor's Office).
With respect to all of the homestead exemptions, the Board of Tax Assessors makes the final determination as to eligibility. If the application is denied you must be notified and an appeal procedure then is available for you, the taxpayer.
For all homestead exemptions the property must be owned and resided in on January 1 of the year that the homestead is first claimed. Georgia law allows for the year-round filing of homestead applications. The application must be received by April 1 of the year for which you first claim the exemption. Homestead applications received after that date will be applied to the next tax year.
Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year. You do not have to apply again unless there is a change of residence, ownership, or you seek to qualify for a different kind of exemption.
Property owners must not be receiving a homestead exemption on any other property, including properties in other Georgia counties or in other states. It is unlawful to do so.
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. Lowndes County has such local county exemptions. The Local County Exemptions supersede the State Exemptions when the Local Exemption amount is greater than the State Exemption amount.
There are several exemptions available to Lowndes County homeowners. If you have any questions regarding these exemptions, such as proof of age, income, military service, etc. contact the Tax Assessor’s Office at (229) 671-2540.
These are State & Local exemptions combined:
Standard Homestead EXEMPTION (S1)
Veterans (S5, SS)
Local Elderly Exemption (SC)
Standard Elderly Exemption (S4)
This is an exemption which is available to homeowners 62 or older with gross household incomes of $30,000 or less. The exemption applies to state and county ad valorem taxes but it does not apply to school tax. The exemption is called a floating exemption because the amount of the exemption increases as the value of the homestead property is increased. However, since the exemption replaces any other state and county exemption already in place for the property, taxpayers should be very careful in making application since in many instances the granting of this exemption will initially at least increase the amount of taxes levied on the property.