Property Tax FAQ
PROPERTY TAX FAQS
Property Tax is an ad valorem tax, which means “according to value”. Ad valorem tax, the tax collected by the tax officer, is based on the value of the taxable property.
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 and personal property is everything that can be owned that is not real estate. “Personal property” typically consists of inventory and fixtures used in conducting a business, such as boats, aircraft, farm machinery, motor vehicles and mobile homes. The contents of your household are not normally taxable unless they are used for a home-based business.
The Gwinnett County Board of Assessors and their staff have the responsibility of determining the value of property in Gwinnett County.
Assessed value is defined as being 40% of the fair market value. Property in Georgia is taxed on the assessed value.
For City taxes, the tax rate or millage rate is set annually by the Mayor and Council of the City of Duluth. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. The 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.
To calculate a tax bill, you must first deduct any exemptions such as Homestead Exemption that may apply from the assessed value, thus generating a net assessed (taxable) value. Next, multiply the net assessed value by the millage rate.
City of Duluth tax bills for real estate and business personal property are mailed out around September 1 of each year, and are due on or before December 15 of each year. After the due date, interest as decided by the state is added each month to the base amount. Additionally, a penalty of 5% will apply to all taxes that remain unpaid after 120 days. Each 120 days after an additional 5% interest will be added to a maximum of 20%. The City Clerk has the right and responsibility to levy (place a lien) on the property for non-payment, as a last resort for tax collection. Tax bills are mailed to the homeowner, never to the mortgage company. Some mortgage companies contact the City directly to obtain billed amounts, but if not, you should forward the bill you receive to your mortgage company. Please verify with your mortgage company which method they utilize.
Yes, there are several exemptions and special assessment programs available that may apply to your property. The most common are Homestead Exemptions for real estate, as well as a Freeport Exemption for Business Personal Property, if applicable. Contact the Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner’s Office for details of the available Homestead Exemptions via their website at www.GwinnettTaxCommissioner.com, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 770.822.8800.
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 Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner’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. Applications can be submitted year-round but the deadline for filing for the current year is April 1. When the homeowner reaches the age of 65 years old, they may apply for an additional senior exemption. To file for both City and County exemptions, file with the Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner’s Office at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30046, by email at email@example.com , or by telephone at 770.822.8800.
Property taxes are usually prorated at the real estate closing, and the new owner is legally responsible for payment. Check with your closing attorney. If you have an escrow account, you should forward the tax notice to your mortgage company so the proper party can pay.
- Property Tax revenues account for 20% of funds available to provide City services
- Activity Community Center and park programs
- Beautification areas
- Business and alcohol license control
- Citizen involvement and awareness programs
- City newsletters
- Community events such as movies, concerts and festivals
- Development of park lands, maintenance and green space
- Economic development
- Memorial Day and Veteran’s Services such as flags and markers
- Police programs such as Duluth Against Drugs and Citizens Police Academy
- Police protection and services such as vacation home checks
- Public Works dumpster services, recycling, compost units and mulch
- Street maintenance and street lights
- Zoning code and property maintenance enforcement
- For further information: Contact the City of Duluth Property Tax Officer at 3167 Main Street Duluth, GA 30096 or by telephone at 770.476.3434 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ad Valorem is according to value.
- Ad Valorem Tax is a tax levied in proportion to the value of the property being taxed.
- Appraisal is an estimate of value.
- Appraisal date in Georgia is this date of January 1 of each tax year.
- Assessed Value is the monetary amount at which a property is put on the digest.
- Assessment Roll is the lists for all taxable properties the name of the owner, the assessed value, exemptions, etc.
- Assessor is appointed by the county governing authority to serve as administrative head over assessment functions including valuation, approval and denial of exemptions.
- Base Year is a value set at a point in time used to calculate the amount of homestead exemption to offset inflationary increases to value.
- City Property Tax Officer is responsible of disbursing and collecting ad valorem taxes and collecting delinquent taxes and other duties.
- Effective Tax Rate is the tax rate expressed as a percentage of market value.
- Equalization is a process that attempts to ensure that property is appraised equitably at market value or as otherwise required by law.
- Governing Authority is the county board of commissioners or city council (elected officials).
- Homestead Exemption is a release from a portion of assessment or property tax on taxpayer’s primary residence.
- Market Value is the highest price in terms of money that a property will bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale with the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeable, assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus (fair market value).
- Mass Appraisal is the process of valuing a group of properties as of a given date, using standard methods, and allowing for statistical testing to achieve uniformity and equalization.
- Mill or Millage is the term used to express a property tax rate. One mill is one-thousandth of one dollar or one-tenth of one cent. Millage is often expressed as whole numbers in Georgia, such as 6 mills which means that the tax bill on an assessment of $100,000 = 6 mills per thousand or $600.
- Tax Levy in property taxes is the total revenue that is to be realized by the tax.
- Tax Digest: (roll) the official list of each taxpayer subject to property taxes together with the assessment and the amounts taxes due.
- Uniformity is assessed values that have the same relationship to market value as do all other assessments within the tax district. It implies equalization of the tax burden.