Paying taxes is often a requirement for property owners. Just like you pay taxes on personal property such as cars, boats, equipment, and livestock, you must also pay taxes on real property. Real property includes immovable property, including land and anything permanently attached.
Real property taxes vary by state, county, and school district. It is the primary source of revenue for local governments, and it is considered an ad valorem tax, which means it is calculated according to the value of the property (Macon-Bibb County Tax).
In this post, we will explain what property taxes are, how they are calculated, possible exemptions, and how they are paid in Georgia and Macon-Bibb County.
What are property taxes?
Property tax bills are issued annually for each household or parcel of property and are calculated at various rates set by the county, school district, or municipality.
First, the local government determines the revenue needed for their budget each year. Then, they set the millage rate, which is one-tenth of a percent. This percentage is applied to your home’s assessed value, which generates the taxes you owe.
How to calculate real property taxes
Step 1: Fair Market Value x Assessment Rate
Start by determining the fair market value of your property. Multiply the fair market value by the assessment rate, which is 40% in Georgia.
For example, let’s use a house with a fair market value of $250,000. 40% of this amount is equal to $100,000.
Keep in mind that the county board of tax assessors will send you a notice of assessment each year, and if you disagree with the amount, you may appeal the fair market value.
Step 2: Assessed Value – Exemptions
Next, take the assessed value you calculated in Step 1 and subtract any exemptions you may qualify for.
The State of Georgia requires each county to offer a standard homestead exemption for homes occupied and used as a primary residence by the owner. The standard homestead exemption in Macon-Bibb County is $7,000 (Macon-Bibb County Tax).
Additional homestead exemptions exist, such as those for individuals over 65, disabled veterans, and surviving spouses. You can read more about these on the Georgia Department of Revenue site.
In our example, you would subtract $7,000 from $100,000 for a total taxable value of $93,000.
Step 3: Taxable Value x Millage Rate
Lastly, multiply your taxable property value by the total local millage rate.
As mentioned, the millage rate is one-tenth of a percent. The total millage rate in Macon-Bibb County in 2022 was 34.621 mills (Macon-Bibb County Tax). So, this would mean you owe $34.621 for every $1,000 of your property’s taxable value.
In our example, the taxable value is $93,000, so you would multiply $34.621 x 93, or 0.034621 x $93,000. The taxes owed would be $3,219.75.
How to pay real property taxes
In Macon-Bibb County, property tax statements are mailed out by September 15. They are paid in two installments, the first due October 15 and the second due November 15. These can be paid online, by mail, by phone, or in person (Macon-Bibb County Tax).
If you have a mortgage on your home, you most likely pay a portion of your property taxes to your mortgage provider each month. They will keep these funds in an escrow account all year until the tax bill is due. Then, they will pay the bill on your behalf and return any excess funds to you.
For example, if your annual tax bill is expected to be $3,219.75, this amount will be split into 12, and you will pay $268.31 extra to your mortgage provider each month.
Learn more about property ownership
When you decide to purchase real property, you should always consider the property taxes in your budget. Previous tax bills are public information, so you can quickly look up the amount or ask your real estate agent what amount to expect.
In addition to property taxes, many different costs are associated with home ownership. It is important to learn as much as possible about the real estate market and the cost of living in the area you are interested in purchasing property.
Our real estate agents at Sheridan Solomon and Associates have extensive knowledge and experience about Macon, Warner Robins, and the surrounding areas in Middle Georgia. If you have questions about the home-buying process, we would love to connect you with one of our agents for a consultation.
Get started by calling us at (478) 746-2000 or visiting our website, www.sheridansolomon.com. You can also learn more about local real estate, tips for homeowners, and fun local events and activities on our blog.