The purpose of this page is to answer questions and provide general information to the public on taxation in Fannin County, Georgia. This page 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 website contains a non-annotated version of the official code of Georgia.
Our staff is dedicated to collecting all taxes and ensuring the smooth and orderly operation of your county government. Sharing the responsibility of improving our community depends on the taxes we all pay as they are disbursed back to you in many different ways. This web site was prepared to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a property owner. We hope it will be of value to you. We have attempted to answer frequently asked questions and provide general information. This information should not be relied on as a legal source of information.
Property is taxable in the county where it is located unless otherwise provided by law. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-11)
Fannin County real estate and business personal property taxes are due by December 20th. 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 Fannin County Board of Education, Fannin County and the State of Georgia.
Filing Tax Returns
Property tax returns for real estate must be filed with the Fannin County Tax Commissioner at 400 West Main Street, Suite 103, Blue Ridge, GA 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.
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)
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 "Arms Length bona fide sale- transaction carried out by unrelated or unaffiliated parties, as by a willing buyer and a willing seller, each acting in his or her own self-interest, including, but not limited to a distress sale, short sale, bank sale, or sale at public auction." (O.C.G.A. 48-5-2
Property owners that do not agree with the appraised value on their tax bill 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 process for taxing real property begins with the purchase of property. Once a sale is finalized, a deed is recorded with the Clerk of Superior Court's Office at the Fannin County Courthouse in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The Tax Assessor's office then assigns a value to the property and an assessment notice is mailed to each individual property owner usually in May of the following year. The property owner then has a 45 day period to appeal the assigned value. Once the appeal process period has ended, a tax digest is compiled. The tax digest is an official listing of all property owners in the county, the assessed value of the property they own, and the taxes levied on the property. This is the central document of the Tax Commissioner's Office. It is a complete listing of property owners, their street addresses, legal addresses, property locations, exemptions, assessments and taxes due. Once completed, the digest is submitted to the State Department of Revenue for approval.
After approval is received, bills are prepared and mailed out. In accordance with Georgia State Law, tax bills are mailed to the owner of record as of January 1st of the tax year being billed. Therefore, a new owner who bought a given property during the year will not receive a bill. Please Note - Failure to receive a bill does not relieve responsibility of paying taxes due. The taxpayer then has a period equal to at least 60 days to pay this annual tax bill. If bills are not paid by due date, 1% interest incurs each month on the amount due. After becoming 90 days delinquent, the Tax Commissioner's Office may begin tax sale proceedings.
Personal Property includes boats and motors, tractors, farm equipment, and machinery. If you own a business, furniture, fixtures, equipment, inventory, and supplies are considered personal property. Ownership of personal property is established January 1 of each year. A property tax return must be filed with the Tax Assessor's Office annually, prior to April 1. Tax returns are mailed out in January. You are required to send in a tax return each year you are in business. It must be established that you are no longer in business in order to discontinue tax generation. If a tax return is not filed, state established values are assessed on the property, and tax payment is expected. After you receive your personal property assessment, there is a period of 45 days in which you have the right to appeal. To see more information, visit our property page.
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 can typically be defined as a portion of the assessed value that will be free of taxation.
The deadline for filing an application for a homestead exemption in Fannin County is April 1. Application for homestead exemption is made with the Tax Assessor’s office. Failure to apply by the deadline will result in loss of the exemption for that year. Beginning July 1, 2005 application for homestead exemption may be submitted any time during the year but must be received before April 1 of the taxable year to qualify for the exemption that year. If received after April 1, the tax assessor will activate the exemption the following year.
The State of Georgia offers homestead exemptions to persons that own and occupy their home as a primary residence. Fannin County offers homestead exemptions that are more beneficial to the taxpayer than the exemptions offered by the State. For information concerning local homestead exemptions contact the Tax Assessor's Office. The homestead exemption is deducted from the assessed value (40% of the fair market value) of the home. Then the mill rate is applied to arrive at the amount of ad valorem tax due.
For more information or questions about billing and collection of property taxes, please contact this office (Fannin County Tax Commissioner). For more information or questions about property values, please contact the Fannin County Tax Assessor's Office.