Online Payments - Property Taxes
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 Walton 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.
Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Please contact us for more information.
Derry M. Boyd
Property is taxable in the county where it is located unless otherwise provided by law. (O.C.G.A. & sect; 48-5-11)
Generally, Walton 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 Walton County Board of Education, Walton County and the State of Georgia.
Points of Interest
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 "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)
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.
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 tax assessor 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 Walton County Tax Assessor 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. Newly acquired vehicles must be registered within 30 days from the date of purchase. The Walton County tag office is located in the Walton County Courthouse, 303 South Hammond Drive. Hours are from 8:30 – 5:00, Monday - Friday. Phone (770) 267-1335. For more detailed information regarding motor vehicle registration, please visit our Motor Vehicles web page.
Mobile/Modular Home Location Permits
Owners of mobile homes that are located in Walton 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 there are two opportunities for a mobile/modular homeowner to appeal their valuation, one is during the return period and the other is within 45 days of when the bill is mailed. Bills for mobile/modular homes in Walton County are usually mailed in January.
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 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 Walton 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. Walton 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.
Property taxes for real and personal property are generally mailed in September and the due date is November 15th. Partial payments on taxes are accepted, but after the due date interest accrues at a rate equal to prime +3% and a 5% penalty is added every 120 days up to 20%. Real property includes tax on land and improvements. Personal property refers to tax on furniture, fixtures, tools, inventory, boats and equipment used in the operation of a business.
Timber tax and heavy duty equipment tax are collected in this office.
Intangible tax is collected by the Clerk of Superior Court.
All mobile homes musts display a current mobile home decal. These annual decals can be obtained in the tax section of this office and are provided upon payment of ad valorem taxes each year. Tax bills for mobile homes are generally mailed in January and are due by April 1.
Please contact our office with any questions you may have concerning taxes in Walton County.
New - HB 386 - Effective March 1, 2013 - House Bill 386, passed during the 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly, creates significant changes regarding the taxation of motor vehicles. Most importantly, vehicles purchased and titled on or after March 1, 2013 will no longer be subject to sales tax or the annual ad valorem tax, but instead will be subject to a one-time State and local Title Ad Valorem Tax Fee (TAVT). Similarly, vehicles purchased on or after January 1, 2012 but prior to March 1, 2013 will have the ability to "opt-in" to the new TAVT system from March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2014. Generally, all other vehicles will remain subject to annual ad valorem taxes. This new title law applies to individual (casual) sales as well as to dealer sales.
If you are thinking about buying or trading for another vehicle and you would like to get an estimate of the new Title Ad Valorem tax, you can go to the state's Title Ad Valorem Tax Calculator.
New residents must register their vehicles within 30 days of establishing residency in Georgia. Residents must present a Georgia driver's license with their Walton County address, A bill affixing them to the address, current registration from previous state, provide out of state title or loan agreement with complete name and address of Lien Holder and T-17 Affidavit of Lien Holder, (available at tag office) proof of Ga. Insurance Binder and current mileage.
If you cancel the insurance, you must also cancel the tag registration. If your vehicle is not operational on your birthday, you still must pay the taxes due to avoid late registration penalties.
Tags expire on the birthday of the first owner shown on the registration. You should receive a tag notice at least 30 days prior to your birthday. Penalties apply after the birthday deadline. Failure to receive a notice in the mail does not relieve the penalty. If you do not receive a tag notice, call the Tag Office with your tag number to receive the amount of your bill and options to pay your bill. This must be done in time to insure registration by your birthday.
Motor vehicle owners are encouraged to renew their tags by mail whenever possible.You can also renew your tag over the internet at mvd.dor.ga.gov/tags or by phone at 866-549-1010 Bureau # 8737903.
Newly purchased vehicles must be registered within 7 days if purchased from an individual or 30 days if purchased from a dealer. If you sell or trade a vehicle you keep the tag. Tags can be transferred to new vehicles that are registered to the same first owner. Proof of title (or bill of sale for 1985 and older models) is required to purchase a tag or transfer a tag from a vehicle you no longer own.
The penalty for late registration is 10% of the tax ($5 minimum) plus 25% of the tag fee. These penalties are applied immediately following the due date.
For further information regarding vehicle registration, please visit the State of Georgia Motor Vehicle Division website at https://dor.georgia.gov/motor-vehicles
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 Walton 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 770-267-1335. My staff and I are here to help you.
The purpose of this site is to answer questions and provide general information to the public on taxation in Walton 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 Walton County Tax Commissioner's Office should be contacted for more information on inquiries about billing and collection of property taxes, and the Walton County Board of Tax Assessor's Office should be contacted for more information on property values. The phone number for the Tax Assessor is 770-267-1352.
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, growing 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 Walton 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 for real estate are filed in the Tax Assessor's office and returns for personal property 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?
Taxpayers may challenge an assessment by Walton County Board of Tax Assessors by appealing to Walton County Board of Equalization or to an arbitrator(s) within 45 days from the date of the assessment notice. Once the county board of equalization or the arbitrator(s) has rendered a decision, the taxpayer may continue their appeal to the superior court by mailing or filing with Walton County Board of Tax Assessors a written notice wishing to continue the appeal.
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 Walton County Commissioners and the Walton 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.
What is the HTRC credit on my tax bill?
The HTRC (Homeowner's Tax Relief Credit) is the result of the homeowner's tax relief enacted by the Governor and the General Assembly of the State of Georgia in 1999. The grant, appropriated by the General Assembly and the Governor for the last several years to counties, cities and schools, had given tax relief to homeowners in the form of a credit on their tax bills. For the 2009 tax year, the Governor and General Assembly did not fund the Homeowners Tax Relief Grant. Declining state revenues during the current recession means there is no money for the State to give the tax relief to homeowners. Therefore, there will not be a credit for this grant on 2009 tax bills on properties with homestead exemption. According to legislation passed in 2009 (House Bill 143), the grant will only be made available in the future if state revenues grow at least 3% plus the rate of inflation. As a result, many Georgia homeowners will see a property tax increase of $200 to $300 on their 2009 tax bills.
When is my tax bill due?
Taxes for real estate and business personal property are normally due in Walton County by November 15 of each year. Mobile/modular homes are due April 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 prime + 3% per month is charged. Additionally, a penalty of 5% will apply to all taxes that are not paid every 120 days of the deadline, however, homesteaded property with a tax liability of less than $500 does not receive the 120-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 Walton County Tax Assessor’s Office for details of the available exemptions.
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 apply for homestead exemption bring a copy of your warranty deed to the Tax Assessor’s office between January 2 and April 1. 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. Beginning June 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.
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 Walton County Government Building, 303 South Hammond Drive, Monroe, Georgia.
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 April 1. The owner of any mobile/modular home located in Walton 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?
This is an abbreviated list; please see the Official Georgia Code for a complete list. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-220)
2019 Holiday Schedule
View Walton County's Holiday Schedule.
New - HB 386 - Effective March 1, 2013
House Bill 386, passed during the 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly, creates significant changes regarding the taxation of motor vehicles. Most importantly, vehicles purchased and titled on or after March 1, 2013 will no longer be subject to sales tax or the annual ad valorem tax, but instead will be subject to a one-time State and local Title Ad Valorem Tax Fee (TAVT). Similarly, vehicles purchased on or after January 1, 2012 but prior to March 1, 2013 will have the ability to "opt-in" to the new TAVT system from March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2014. Generally, all other vehicles will remain subject to annual ad valorem taxes. This new title law applies to individual (casual) sales as well as to dealer sales.
If you are thinking about buying or trading for another vehicle and you would like to get an estimate of the new Title Ad Valorem tax, you can go to the state's Title Ad Valorem Tax Calculator.