Property owners looking for a break on their 2013 taxes have until April 1 to apply for several exemption types.
The office will accept exemption applications year-round, but they must be submitted by April 1 in order for the exemptions to be applied to the year’s tax bills, according to Liberty County Chief Appraiser Glenda Roberts.
“Any time we can accept the application, but in order for it to apply for, say, 2013, it has to be (filed) April 1 of that year,” Roberts said.
The homestead exemption is among the most popular exemptions applied. To qualify, a resident must have lived in their home prior to Jan. 1, 2013, and be able to show proof of residence such as a driver’s license, voter ID registration and vehicle registration.
“It has to have legally been deeded to you and you resided in it, and we have to have proof that you actually resided in the home as one January,” she added. The application only is a one-time requirement; once a homestead exemption is granted, it will remain in place until the residency status changes.
According to the Georgia Department of Revenue online, the standard homestead exemption grants the owner-resident a “$2,000 exemption from state, county and school taxes … except to pay interest on and to retire bonded indebtedness.” The $2,000 is deducted from the 40 percent assessed value of the homestead.
The same day is a deadline for specialized assessments, such as:
• conservation-use exemptions: Property must span 10 acres or more with owner claiming no more than 2,000 acres of conservation-use exemptions in the state.
• forest-land protection-act exemptions: Property owner must own greater than 200 contiguous acres.
• solid-waste exemptions: Property owner must be 65 years or older, and the total household income cannot exceed $25,000.
• disabled-veterans exemptions: Property owner must be 100 percent “totally and permanently disabled” by ratings from the Veterans Administration. This exemption amount is subject to change annually, but the 2012 exemption amount is $63,780 compared to $50,000 in 2011.
April 1 also is the deadline for personal property owners of boats, businesses and aircraft to file annual reporting forms.
Those with questions about exemptions should contact the Liberty County Tax Assessors office at 876-2823. More information is available online at https://etax.dor.ga.gov/ptd/adm/taxguide/index.aspx.