Congrats! You’re a Homeowner.
Not only do you get to swell with pride every time you pull into the driveway, being a homeowner also allows you to realize some serious tax savings via homestead exemption.
First and foremost – what is homestead?
/ˈhōmˌsted / n.
- A state or local tax break that exempts a certain amount of the value of property upon which a property tax is based.
- A means by which a homeowner can reduce the amount of taxes owed on the property if the property is used as the homeowner’s residence. Borrowers must contact their local taxing authority to find out if the Homestead Exemption is offered and if they qualify.
Here’s what this means for you. If you purchased a home, more specifically, your primary residence in 2018, you’re now eligible to apply for / qualify for homestead exemption. Georgia law provides that every homeowner is eligible to claim a Homestead Exemption for a primary residence owned on January 1, 2019. This property tax benefit can amount to considerable annual savings for you.
Ready to file?
Here’s what you’ll want to have handy when you head online to complete your homestead exemption application:
- Homeowner Name
- Property Address
- Parcel ID # (if you need this, please contact me directly)
City of Decatur / Dekalb County – you must file online with both the City and the County. The City deadline is April 1, 2019. It saves approximately $20,000 off your assessed value. File with the County by April 1, 2019, and it will take about 2/3rds off the County portion of the tax bill.
Dekalb County Unincorporated – File online by April 1, 2019. This should take about 1/3rd off the tax bill.
City of Altanta / Dekalb County – File online with the County by April 1, 2019 only. It will automatically file with the City. This saves you about $30,000 off your total assessed value and about 2/3rds off your County portion.
City of Atlanta / Fulton County – File with the County by April 1, 2019. It will automatically file with the City. This saves you about $30,000 off your assessed value with City and about $10,000 off your assessed value with the County; it’s worth the effort!
Fulton County makes you work for your Homestead – follow the previous link and create a new account by clicking on “File Homestead Exemption.” Once you’ve created your account, you can fill everything out online (be sure to hit submit).
Cobb County – File with the county by April 1, 2019 and be sure to MAIL your application in (instruction on 2nd page of application). Per their website – “A $10,000 exemption in the county general and school general tax categories. In addition, you are automatically eligible for a $2,000 exemption in the state tax category.” Our understanding is that these deductions are made from the Assessed Value (Fair Market Value x 40%).
This will literally take you ~5 minutes to complete – take advantage of some down time and knock this out before the new year really starts to take off. You can thank us later with lunch at one of our favorite Atlanta restaurants.
Please reach out with any questions and enjoy the tax savings!
Homestead makes for happy homeowners.
ps. I would also recommend completing and submitting a PT-50R tax form with your homestead exemption as well as including a copy with your 2018 tax returns. This provides you basis to support / challenge / appeal your property value with your local government.