Homestead Exemption is one way to reduce the amount of property tax you pay on your residential property. In Forsyth County, if you own the property, reside on that property, and are a legal resident of the County, all as of January 1st of the tax year, you may qualify for homestead exemption.
Legal resident means that you are registered to vote and/or register your vehicles in Forsyth County. You cannot be claiming homestead at any other location in Forsyth County or in any other County or State.
If you and your spouse own more than one home, you CANNOT claim multiple exemptions, even if one house is in your name and the other is in your spouses name.
You must apply for any of the following exemptions. Only one owner needs to meet the requirements to qualify for the full exemption. These exemptions are automatically renewed each year unless there is a change in ownership or you no longer meet the eligibility requirements. You do not need to reapply for exemptions if you refinance your home. For all exemptions, the property must be in the name of the applicant.
To legally change ownership into your name a new deed must be recorded in Forsyth County records.
The amount exempted is deducted from the 40% assessed value of the property in the applicable tax categories.
If a change of ownership occurs due to death or divorce, the new owner must file the change with the Tax Assessors Office and reapply for any exemption granted in the previous owner's name.
REGULAR - $8,000 HOMESTEAD
The regular homestead exemption reduces the gross assessment which is applied to certain portions of the mileage rate by $8,000. The regular homestead grants an $8,000 reduction to your assessed value against the County M & O and the Fire portion of the millage rate. This is a special local exemption. The school and state portion of the millage rate will be reduced by $2,000 per the state allowed homestead exemption.
As a result of legislation approved by voters in 2001, Forsyth County homestead claimants are now eligible for the county floating homestead exemption, in addition to any other exemption for which they may be eligible. Homestead applications will be used to qualify all taxpayers for the county value offset exemption.
In the absence of a millage rate increase, the value offset exemption holds constant the county government and fire portion of your taxes when there is a property value increase. Taxpayers who file for this exemption in 2006 establish their base year and value at the 2005 level. Thus, your county taxes will be calculated according to your base year, established at the time of application. School and state taxes will continue to be calculated on the current year's value. Please note that you will receive the exemption savings only if your property experiences an increase in assessed value.
TOTAL SCHOOL TAX HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
Homeowners who are 65 years of age on or before January 1 are entitled to a full exemption in the school general and school bond tax categories. You must furnish proof of age when you apply. This is a homestead exemption and only applies to the home you live in, and you must be receiving or applying for regular homestead exemption to qualify. Effective January 1, 2017 this law was amended as follows:
"A person shall not receive this exemption if there are minor children residing in the homestead unless such children are the natural or adopted children of the person, are foster children under the care of the person, are children for whom the person has been appointed guardian, or are temporary residents of the homestead for a period of not more than one year in duration."
OTHER SCHOOL TAX HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
Homeowners who are 62 years of age on or before January 1 may be eligible for school tax exemptions that are based on income.
Local legislation grants school tax exemption on your home and 3 acres, or $20,000, whichever is greater. Gross Income from the entire household cannot exceed $16,000.
State law grants a $10,000 school tax exemption against the school portion of the millage rate, provided that your Net Income is $10,000 or less.
Homeowners who are 65 years of age on or before January 1 may be eligible for a double ($16,000) homestead exemption.
To qualify the Gross Income from all sources in the household cannot exceed $40,000.
Forsyth County offers two local exemptions to disabled taxpayers.
One exempts your home and three acres from the school portion of the tax bill. Gross Income cannot exceed $16,000.
The other grants a $16,000 exemption against the county and fire portion of the millage rate. Gross Income cannot exceed $40,000.
There are no age limitations on the disability exemptions. The applicant must provide two (2) letters from physicians stating that he applicant is totally and permanently disabled, or one (1) letter from a physician and a copy of their disability statement from Social Security.
This exemption applies to all tax categories. Homeowners who are disabled veterans as defined in O.C.G.A. 48-5-48 are entitled to a $81,080 exemption on school and state taxes, and an $119,080 exemption on county and fire taxes. You must provide legally required documentation. This exemption extends to the unremarried surviving spouse or minor children at the time of the applicant's death, provided they continue to occupy the home as a residence and homestead.
SURVIVING SPOUSE HOMESTEAD
This $81,080 exemption applies to the state, county, municipal and school tax categories as defined in O.C.G.A.section 48-5-52.1. Any citizen who is the unremarried surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed forces killed in any war or conflict and receiving spousal benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs is eligible. Legal documentation is required.
If you make application for any homestead with income requirements you will be required to submit a copy of your current years Federal Income tax return, a copy of your social security benefit statement, a copy of any 1099 retirement statements, IRA and interest statements. (If the applicant does not file an income tax return, all other information is required.)
FILING PERIOD FOR ALL HOMESTEADS
You may apply for exemptions year-round, however, you must apply by April 1 to receive the exemption for that tax year. Any application received after this date will not be processed until the next tax year.
WHERE TO FILE
FORSYTH COUNTY TAX ASSESSORS
110 E. MAIN STREET, SUITE 260
CUMMING, GA 30040
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
MONDAY - FRIDAY
Regular and Floating homestead application is available for download On Tax Forms link. Please note: The application must be notarized, and required documents as shown above must be attached. A notary is available in our office at no charge.