Welcome to The Elbert County Tax Commissioner Website

tax images

Dear Taxpayer,
This site was prepared to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a property owner. I hope it will be of value to you. I have attempted to answer frequently asked questions and provide general information on taxation in Elbert County. Please remember that I cannot cover the many and complex laws and this site should not be relied on as a legal source of information. Whether you are a new resident or have been in our county for some time, my goal is to fulfill my responsibility as your Tax Commissioner in a fair and equitable manner.

My staff and I are here to answer your questions and provide the best public service possible. Please feel free to call on us.

Renew Your Tag Online HERE

Georgia DRIVES Online Vehicle Services


Sincerely,

Lorrie Higginbotham
Tax Commissioner

General Information


Property is taxable in the county where it is located unless otherwise provided by law. (O.C.G.A. & sect; 48-5-11)
Generally, Elbert County real estate and business personal property taxes are due by November 15. If taxes are not collected on the property, it may be levied upon and ultimately sold. Property tax collected by the local government is used to pay for the support of services provided by the Elbert County Board of Education, Elbert County and the State of Georgia.

Assessed Values
In Georgia property is assessed at 40% of the fair market value unless otherwise specified by law. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-7) Property is assessed at the county level. The State Revenue Commissioner is responsible for examining the tax digests of counties in Georgia in order to determine that property is assessed uniformly and equally between and within the counties. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-340)

Property owners that do not agree with the appraised value on their assessment notice can file an appeal with the Board of Assessors. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-311) If no agreement is reached, the appeal is automatically forwarded to the Board of Equalization.

The tax bills received by property owners will include both the fair market value and the assessed value of the property. Fair market value means "the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm's length, bona fide sale." (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-2)

Timber
Standing timber is not taxed until sold or harvested, at which time it is taxed based upon 100 percent of its fair market value. This value is then multiplied by the appropriate mill rate to determine the tax amount due.

Equipment, Machinery, and Fixtures
Equipment, machinery, and fixtures are assessed at 40 percent of fair market value. The Board of Assessors may value the equipment, machinery, and fixtures of a going business to reflect the fair market value of the business as a whole. When no ready market exists for the sale of equipment, machinery, and fixtures, a fair market value may be determined by resorting to any reasonable, relevant, and useful information available. This information may include, but is not limited to, the original cost of the property, depreciation or obsolescence, and any increase in value by reason of inflation.

Property Tax Returns
Property tax returns for real estate must be filed with the Elbert County Board of Assessors at the Courthouse between January 1 and April 1 of each year where property has changed or been acquired. The taxpayer may elect not to file a property tax return if they have no changes that would affect the value of their property from the previous year. Failure to file a required return will subject the taxpayer to a 10% penalty on the value of the property not returned plus interest and possibly penalties from the date the tax would have been due.

Personal property tax returns (PT-50p) are to be filled annually with the Board of Assessors without regard to change in value or use. This deadline is April 1.

Motor Vehicle Registration
Vehicle owners must renew their registration and pay the ad valorem tax every year during the 30-day period, which ends on their birthday. If the vehicle is owned by more than one person, then the birthday of the person's name that appears first on the title is used to determine the registration period. If the vehicle is owned by a business, the 1st letter of the business name determines the month in which the registration is due. The registration period for businesses is from the 1st day until the last day of the month that corresponds with the business name. Newly acquired vehicles must be registered within 30 days from the date of purchase. The Elbert County tag office is located in the Elbert County Governtment Complex, 45 Forest Avenue, POB 603, Elberton. Hours are from 8:00 – 5:00, Monday - Friday. Phone (706) 283-2018. For more detailed information regarding motor vehicle registration, please visit our DMV web page.

Mobile/Modular Home Location Permits
Owners of mobile homes that are located in Elbert County on January 1 must return the mobile home for taxation to the Tax Commissioner on or before April 1 of each year at the same time they apply for the location permit. Failure to file the required return will result in a 10% tax penalty.

It should be noted that the opportunity for a mobile/modular home owner to appeal the value of their mobile home, if it is not homesteaded, will be within 45 days of the mailing of the mobile home tax bill. Mobile home bills are mailed shortly after the 1st of the year and are due by May 1st of each year.

Ad Valorem Tax Refunds
If a taxpayer discovers they have paid taxes that they believe were illegal or erroneous, they may request a refund within 3 years of the date of payment. The claim for refund should be filed in writing with the board of commissioners within three years after the date of payment. Applications for refunds are available from the Board of Assessors or the Tax Commissioner. Refunds for erroneous paid taxes must be based on "errors of fault" and not on disagreements of value.

EXEMPTIONS
Exemptions can typically be defined as a portion of the assessed value that will be free of taxation.

Homestead Exemptions
Homestead exemptions have been enacted to reduce the burden of ad valorem taxation for Georgia homeowners. The exemptions apply to homestead property owned by the taxpayer and occupied as his or her legal residence. Homestead exemptions are deducted from the assessed value of the qualifying property (40% of the fair market value.)

To receive the benefit of the homestead exemption, the taxpayer must file an initial application. In Elbert County the application is filed with the Tax Commissioner. With respect to all of the Homestead Exemptions, the Board of Assessors makes the final determination as to eligibility.

Georgia law allows for the year-round filing of homestead applications but the application must be received by April 1st of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. Homestead applications received after April 1st will be enacted the following year.

Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year and the taxpayer does not have re-apply unless there is a change of residence, ownership, or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.

Under authority of the state constitution several different types of homestead exemptions are provided. These are known as state exemptions. In addition, local governments are authorized to provide for increased exemption amounts, also know as local exemptions. Elbert county has such an exemption. The local county exemptions supersede the state exemptions when the local exemption amount is greater than the state amount. Please contact your tax commissioner for more information regarding homestead exemption.

Motor Vehicles

Click to >>> Renew Tags Online.

You will need your license plate or VIN and your drivers license or letter ID. You can also renew by mail or by bringing to the Tax Commissioner’s Office Tags are due on or before your birthday, unless it’s in a business name or IRP. The penalty for late registration is 10% of the tax ($5.00 minimum) and 25% of the tag fee. These penalties begin immediately following the due date.

We accept checks with a valid phone number, money orders and cash. We also accept debit/credit cards. A convenience fee of 2.5% will be added to each card transaction.

The office phone number is 706/283-2018. We are located at 45 Forest Ave, Elberton, GA 30635. Office hours are M-F 8AM-5PM.

If you’ve purchased a new vehicle or looking at buying one, you can find out how much TAVT you will owe by clicking the link. Calculate TAVT (Title Tax) . You will need the VIN of the vehicle.

For all other online tag, registration and related services, such as going green, cancelling your registration, changing your address, etc., visit https://eservices.drives.ga.gov/.

As of March 2013 there will no longer be sales tax on the purchase of motor vehicles. A 6.6% Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) is now required on every title transfer based on the State's fair market value and is due at the time of the title transfer.

New residents must title and register their vehicles within thirty days of establishing residency in Georgia. A Georgia Driver's License must be obtained with your current address before registering your vehicle. New to Georgia will pay 3% TAVT and it is all due at the time of title transfer and registration.

Vehicles bought from dealer must be registered within 30 days from the date of purchase. The dealer will be responsible for collecting the TAVT and sending to the county with the title paperwork. Dealer title work must be applied for through ETR, unless it is an out of state title, disabled veteran exemption, non-resident, or other special circumstances.

Individual to Individual Sales are required to pay the TAVT upon applying for the title. Title must be applied for within 7 days of the date of purchase.

It is the vehicle owner's responsibility to ensure their vehicle is properly registered. Vehicle owners must renew their registration every year during the 60-day period, which ends on their birthday. If the vehicle is owned by more than one person, then the birthday of the person's name that appears first on the title is used to determine the registration period. In other words, tags expire on the birthday of the first owner shown on the title. You should receive a bill 60 days prior to renewal. Penalties apply after the birthday deadline. Failure to receive a bill in the mail does not relieve the penalty. If you do not receive a bill, you can contact the Tag Office or go online to get your balance. This must be done in time to ensure registration by your birthday.

Georgia liability insurance is required to be transmitted to the state's database by your insurance company in order to register your vehicle. The vehicle must always be covered by liability insurance or a lapse in coverage penalty will apply. If you cancel the insurance, you must also cancel the registration.

If you trade in a vehicle...keep your old tag. As long as the tag and the vehicle are in the same name, we can transfer that tag to your new vehicle. All vehicles that are 1986 or newer requires a Georgia title in order to register it. Proof of title (bill of sale for 1985 and older) is required to purchase a tag or transfer a tag from a vehicle you no longer own.

Trailers with a gross weight of less 2000 lbs or less are not required to be titled in GA. The bill of sale must be from the last registered owner.

The State of Georgia has a variety of tags from which to choose. Visit the Georgia Department of Revenue/Motor Vehicle Division for tag samples at https://mvd.dor.ga.gov/motor/plates/PlateSelection.aspx

For further information regarding vehicle registration, please visit the State of Georgia Motor Vehicle Division website at https://eservices.drives.ga.gov/.

Frequently Asked Questions


The information in this web site is intended to aid you in understanding your rights and responsibilities relating to property tax in Elbert County. A small web page cannot cover the many and complex tax laws in Georgia. If you have questions or need clarification, please call the office at (706)283-2018.

My staff and I are here to help you.

Purpose of this Site
The purpose of this site is to answer questions and provide general information to the public on taxation in Elbert 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. To view this site, click HERE.

The Elbert County Tax Commissioner's Office should be contacted for more information on inquiries about billing and collection of property taxes, and the Elbert County Board of Tax Assessor's Office should be contacted for more information on property values. The phone number for the Tax Assessor is (706)283-2008.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is property taxation?
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.

What property is taxed?
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 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.

Who decides how much my property is worth for tax purposes?
The Board of Assessors and their staff have the responsibility of determining the value of property in Elbert 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 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 Boards' value will be mailed to you.

What if I disagree with the Tax Assessors' value?
You have the right to appeal these values to the county Board of Tax Assessors followed by an appeal either to the county Board of Equalization or to Arbitration and in either case, to appeal to superior Court.

What is the difference between fair market value and assessed value?
Assessed value is defined as being 40% of the fair market value. Property in Georgia is taxed on the assessed value.

What is a millage rate?
The tax rate, or millage rate, is set annually by the Elbert County Commissioners and the Elbert County Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. 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.

How is my tax bill calculated?
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 many apply from the assessed value; thus generating a net assessed (taxable) value. Next you multiply the net assessed value by the millage rate.

When is my tax bill due?
Taxes for real estate and business personal property are normally due in Elbert County by November 15th of each year. Mobile/modular homes are due May 1 of each year and motor vehicles are due based on the owners' birthday. After the due date, for real estate and business personal property, interest at the rate of 1% per month is charged. Additionally, a penalty of 10% will apply to all taxes that are not paid within 90 days of the deadline, however, homesteaded property with a tax liability of less than $500 does not receive the 90-day 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.

Is there anyway to reduce my tax bill?
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 Tax Commissioner's Office about homestead exemptions and the assessor's office about exemptions such as Freeport, conservation use, etc.
What is and how do I file for homestead exemption?
Homestead exemption is the system developed by the State of Georgia that exempts from taxation a specified amount of assessed value of your home. To receive the benefit of the homestead exemption, the taxpayer must file an initial application. In Elbert county the application is filed with the Tax Commissioner. Georgia Law allows for the year-round filing of homestead applications, but the application must be received by April 1st of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. If the application is received after April 1st the exemption will apply to the next tax year. 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.

Where do I get a copy of my warranty deed?
You can obtain a copy of your warranty deed from the Clerk of Superior Court record center. This office is located at the Elbert County Courthouse, 12 Oliver Street, Elberton, GA 30635.

Do I pay taxes on my mobile/modular home?
Yes. Mobile/modular homes are considered personal property and are taxable in the State of Georgia. Tax must be paid annually with a due date of May 1. The owner of any mobile/modular home located in Elbert County must file a return and obtain a location permit. In order to obtain this permit the mobile home tax for the current year must be paid in full.

Where do property tax dollars go?

  • To support administration of county government and the public school system;
  • To build and repair public buildings and bridges;
  • To pay expenses of courts, county jail and law enforcement;
  • To build and maintain county roads;
  • To provide for fire protection;
  • To provide for public health and sanitation;

This is an abbreviated list; please see the Official Georgia Code for a complete list. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-220).

Contact Us


Lorrie Higginbotham
Elbert County Tax Commissioner

TAX OFFICE:
COUNTY GOVERNMENT COMPLEX
45 Forest Avenue
P.O. Box 603
Elberton, GA 30635
Phone: (706) 283-2018
Fax: (706)283-8144
Email: ectaxcommissioner@elberton.net

TAG OFFICE:
COUNTY GOVERNMENT COMPLEX
45 Forest Avenue
Elberton, GA, 30635
Phone: (706) 283-2018

OFFICE HOURS:
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

News


Holiday Schedule

The Elbert County Tax Commissioner's office is closed on the following days:

  • NEW YEAR'S DAY
  • DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY
  • GOOD FRIDAY
  • MEMORIAL DAY
  • INDEPENDENCE DAY
  • LABOR DAY
  • COLUMBUS DAY
  • VETERANS DAY
  • THANKSGIVING (THURSDAY & FRIDAY) -
  • CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY (CLOSED 2 DAYS)
Georgia DRIVES is LIVE!

The Georgia Driver Record and Integrated Vehicle Enterprise System (DRIVES) was implemented on May 28th, 2019. The new system will update and enhance the Department of Revenue's title and vehicle registration functions. New services and documents are now available online.

Learn more: KEY FACTS ABOUT GEORGIA DRIVES ONLINE VEHICLE SERVICES

Elbert County, GA

Tax Commissioner
Lorrie Higginbotham
45 Forest Avenue
P.O. Box 603
Elberton, GA 30635

(706) 283-2018
or Send Email

GovtWindow Help
(877) 575-7233
or Send Email