The purpose of this site is to answer questions and provide general information to the public on taxation in Lowndes County, Georgia. This site does not necessarily cover every aspect of property taxation and should not be relied upon as a legal source of information. Please refer to the specified code sections for specific limitations.
The Department of Revenue sponsors a web site where the non-annotated version of the Official Code of Georgia can be viewed.
The Lowndes County Tax Commissioner's Office should be contacted for more information on inquiries about billing and collection of property taxes, and the Lowndes County Board of Tax Assessor's Office should be contacted for more information on property values. The phone number for the Tax Assessor's Office is (229) 671-2540.
Property tax is an ad valorem tax, which means according to value. Ad valorem tax, the tax collected by the tax commissioner, is based on the value of the taxable property in the county.
All real estate and personal property are taxable unless law has exempted the property. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-3) Real property is land and generally anything that is erected, growing or affixed to the land; personal property is everything that can be owned that is not real estate. Personal property typically consists of inventory and fixtures used in conducting business, boats, aircraft, farm machinery, motor vehicles, and mobile homes. Your household property is not normally taxable.
The Board of Assessors has the responsibility of determining the value of property in Lowndes County. Each year between January 1 and April 1 every property owner has the ability to declare a proposed value for their property. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-9) These values are declared in the manner of 'filing a return'. Returns for real estate are filed in the Tax Assessor's Office and returns for personal property are filed with the Board of Assessors. The Board of Assessors will review your proposed value and if they disagree, an assessment notice with the Board's value will be mailed to you.
Assessed value is defined as being 40% of the fair market value. Property in Georgia is taxed on the assessed value.
Taxpayers may challenge an assessment by Lowndes County Board of Tax Assessors by appealing to Lowndes County Board of Equalization or to an arbitrator(s) within 45 days from the date of the assessment notice. Once the county Board of Equalization or the arbitrator(s) has rendered a decision, the taxpayer may continue their appeal to the Superior Court by mailing or filing with Lowndes County Board of Tax Assessors a written notice wishing to continue the appeal. For more information about the appeal process, visit the Lowndes County Tax Assessor's web site.
Once the property owner and the Board of Assessors have come to terms with an appropriate value, this value is provided to the Tax Commissioner for tax bill calculation. To calculate a tax bill, you must first deduct any exemptions that may apply from the assessed value; thus generating a net assessed (taxable) value. Next you multiply the net assessed value by the millage rate.
A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value.
The millage rate is set annually by the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and the Lowndes County Board of Education. Each governing authority estimates their total revenue from other sources. This figure is subtracted from their overall budgetary needs, and then a millage rate is set that will generate the necessary revenues to fulfill budgetary requirements.
Taxes for real estate and personal property are normally due in Lowndes County by November 15 of each year.
Mobile/modular homes are due January 1 of each year and motor vehicles are due based on the owners' birthday.
Effective July 1, 2016, after the due date for real estate and business personal property, interest will be charged based on the bank prime rate plus 3% after November 15th. Additionally, penalty will be applied at 5% per 120 days, and will cap at 20%. However, homesteaded property with a tax liability of less than $500 does not receive the penalty.
If the property taxes remain unpaid, the Tax Commissioner has the right and responsibility to levy on the property for non-payment. Of course we consider this a last resort for tax collection and prefer to use other collection methods.
Yes. There are several exemptions and special assessment programs available that may apply to your property. The most common are the homestead exemption for real estate and for business personal property there is the freeport exemption.
Contact the Lowndes County Tax Assessor's Office for details of the available special assessment programs.Contact the Lowndes County Tax Commissioner's office for details of the available Homstead exemptions.
Homestead exemption is the system developed by the State of Georgia that exempts from taxation a specified amount of assessed value of your home.
You may apply for homestead exemption in the Tax Assessor's Office.
To qualify, you must both own and occupy your home as of January 1. Once you have qualified for homestead exemption and remain in the same house you do not need to reapply. However, if you move, you are required to reapply for the exemption for the new location.
Georgia law allows the year-round filing of filing of homestead applications. Application for homestead exemption may be submitted any time during the year but must be received by April 1 of the taxable year to qualify for the exemption that year. Homestead applications received after April 1 will be applied to the next year.
Once you have qualified for homestead exemption and remain in the same house, you do not need to reapply unless there is a change of residence, ownership or you seek to qualify for a different kind of exemption. If you move, you are required to reapply for the exemption for the new location.
When the homeowner reaches the age of 65 years old, they may apply for an additional homestead exemption.For more information please see Homestead Exeption.
This is an abbreviated list. Please see the Official Georgia Code for a complete list. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-220)
Yes. Mobile/manufactured homes are considered personal property and are taxable in the State of Georgia. Tax must be paid annually, with a due date of April 1st. The owner of any mobile/manufactured home located in Lowndes County must file a return, and obtain a location decal. In order to obtain this decal, the mobile home tax for the current year must be paid in full.
You can obtain a copy of your warranty deed from the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court. This office is located in the Lowndes County Judicial Complex, 327 N. Ashley Street, 1st Floor, Valdosta, GA 31601.