Deadline to apply for a new Decatur homestead tax exemption is March 15Decatur City Hall.
Decatur, GA — The deadline to apply for any new homestead tax exemptions in Decatur is March 15.
To find eligibility requirements, residents may call 404-370-4100, website https://www.decaturga.com/homestead, or email [email protected]. Applications can be submitted online.
Homeowners who have previously applied for an exemption don’t have to reapply. Homeowners may need to reapply if they qualify for a new exemption based on age or income, if they are a new owners, if they have moved within the city, or have only applied for an exemption with DeKalb County.
Homeowners who have filed for a homestead exemption with the county must also apply with the city.
The city of Decatur offers several homestead exemptions for homeowners that include general exemptions based on ownership and occupancy, as well as exemptions based on age, income, and disability, according to the city’s website. To receive an exemption, the homeowner must reside at the property. A homestead exemption reduces the taxable value of a home.
Homestead exemption applications are accepted throughout the year, but in order to grant an exemption for the current tax year, applications must be received no later than April 3.
“However, homeowners are asked to apply for any new exemptions by March 15, 2023, in order for exemptions to appear on your [first] installment 2023 property tax bill,” an article from the Decatur Focus states.
Here are the current city homestead exemptions:
– GH-1: all homeowners are eligible for a general homestead exemption of $25,000
– GH-2: homeowners who are 65 and older are eligible for a $10,000 exemption
– GH-3: homeowners age 62 or older with a household income under $50,000 are eligible for a $15,000 exemption.
– GS-1: homeowners age 62 or older whose household income (of you, your spouse, and resident family members) doesn’t exceed $25,000 are eligible for a $50,000 exemption.
– Disable veterans can qualify for an exemption if they reside at the property and have a 100% disability per the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The current exemptions for school taxes are:
– S-1: homeowners ages 62 and older with a household income, excluding retirement income, of you and your spouse that doesn’t exceed $10,000 are eligible for a $10,000 exemption.
– S-2: this exempts homeowners over the age of 80 who live in their home from school taxes if the household income is less than $40,000.
– S-3 and S-6: homeowners age 70 and above are eligible for a reduction of $200,000 of assessed home value ($400,000 appraised value) without an income cap.
– S-5 exemption: provides an exemption of $200,000 of assessed home value ($400,000 appraised value) for seniors aged 65-69 with a household federal adjusted gross income less than $53,000.
The city and the school district are also in the process of updating their homestead exemptions for next year. The exemptions have to be approved by the Georgia General Assembly and will be on the ballot as a referendum in November.
The city’s homestead exemption legislation has been introduced in the state House of Representatives.
The city is looking to increase aspects of the general homestead exemptions, increase the income limit for the tax deferral program and create an exemption for owner-occupied homes on land managed through the Decatur Land Trust.
“The City Commission has expressed interest in property tax relief for persons who own their homes and are impacted by increasing property values,” City Manager Andrea Arnold previously wrote in a memo. “Additionally, there is a desire to ensure that resident property owners on Decatur Land Trust properties are afforded a homestead exemption similar to the City’s general homestead exemption.”
Here are the recommended changes to the homestead tax exemptions:
– Increase the General Homestead Exemption (GH-1) for all residential owner-occupied properties from $25,000 to $40,000.
– Increase the General Homestead Exemption (GH-2) for residential owner-occupied properties for persons 65 years of age or older from $10,000 to $15,000.
– Increase the General Homestead Exemption (GH-3) for residential owner-occupied properties for persons 62 years of age or older whose Georgia net taxable household income does not exceed $50,000 from $15,000 to $25,000 and adjust the household income limit from $50,000 to $60,000.
– Create a Community Land Trust Homestead Exemption (LT-1) in the amount of $40,000 for residents who hold owner-occupied real property that is subject to a written land lease having an initial term of not less than 99 years with a landlord that is an entity exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, and who own all improvements located on the real property.
The annual cost of the proposed homestead exemptions is estimated to be approximately $1.05 million.
The City Schools of Decatur School Board is also working on updating the senior homestead tax exemption for seniors related to school taxes. The board passed the current exemption in 2021, which will expire at the end of 2023. The legislation has been introduced in the state Senate.
“The [school board] has reviewed the data from the last tax digest to help inform if any adjustments should be made in the next senior tax exemption as they work with our legislators on getting a new five-year exemption approved in the 2023 session,” the school board newsletter states. “The board plans to vote on a resolution for the next senior tax exemption at the regular board meeting in December.”
The school board is not considering making any changes to the S-6 exemption. Although the board is looking at increasing the dollar amount of the household adjusted income for seniors ages 65-69 from $53,000 to $62,000 for the S-5 exemption. The school board is also looking to maintain the exemption of $200,000 of assessed home value ($400,000 appraised value).
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