Property Tax Exemptions
Property Exempt from Taxation
All property is taxable unless an exemption has been provided by law; taxation being the rule and exemption the exception.
Property exempted by O.C.G.A. Section 48-5-41 must not be used for private or corporate profit and income. The property exempted by the above code section does not apply to real estate or buildings that are rented, leased, or used for the purpose of securing an income. Any income must be used exclusively for religious, educational, and charitable purposes in order to maintain and operate the institutions.
The exemptions below that exempt colleges, nonprofit hospitals, incorporated academies, or other seminaries refer to those organizations that are open to the general public:
- Property owned and used exclusively as the general state headquarters of a nonprofit corporation organized for the purpose of encouraging cooperation between parents and teachers to promote the education and welfare of children
- All places of religious worship and burial and all property owned by and operated exclusively as a church or other religious association that qualifies as an exempt religious organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
- Property owned by religious groups that are used as single-family houses where no income is derived from the property
- Institutions of purely public charity
- Buildings erected and used as a college, an incorporated academy, or other seminary of learning but only if these institutions are open to the general public
- All funds and property held or used as an endowment by colleges, nonprofit hospitals, incorporated academies, or other seminaries of learning when the funds or property are not invested in real estate
- All real and personal property of public libraries and any other literary associations
- Books, philosophical apparatus, paintings, and statuary of any company or association that are kept in a public hall which are not held for profit or sale
- Property that has been installed or constructed with the purpose of eliminating or reducing air or water pollution if certified by the Department of Natural Resources.
- Property of a nonprofit home for the aged and property of a nonprofit home for the mentally disabled as long as no income or profit is distributed to any private person when the home is qualified as an exempt organization under the United States Internal Revenue Code, section 501(c)(3), and O.C.G.A. Section 48-7-25.
- Property owned and used exclusively by a veterans organization which is chartered by the United States Congress and is exempted from federal income taxes
- Property of nonprofit hospitals used in connection with their operation. This exemption does not include property owned by the nonprofit hospital which is held for investment purposes unrelated to providing medical care.
- Property owned and used exclusively as the headquarters, post home, or similar facility of a veterans organization that is chartered by the Congress of the United States and which is exempt from federal income taxes
- Property owned by a historical fraternal benefit association that is used exclusively for charitable, fraternal, and benevolent purposes.
- When the land on which commercial fertilizers are to be used has been taxed, consumers of commercial fertilizers are not required to report fertilizers for taxation. (O.C.G.A. Section 48-5-43)
Columbia County voters have elected to exempt the following types of commercial and industrial inventory:
- Raw materials and goods in process of manufacture - 100% exemption
- Finished goods produced in Georgia within the last 12 months - 100% exemption
- Finished goods stored in Georgia within the last 12 months and destined for shipment out-of-state - 100% exemption
The deadline for filing an application for freeport exemption with the Board of Tax Assessors is April 1 to receive the full exemption.
Other Personal Property Exemptions
Georgia exempts a property owner from paying property tax on:
- Items of personal property used in the home if not held for sale, rental, or other commercial use
- All tools and implements of trade of manual laborers in an amount not to exceed $2,500 in actual value
- Domestic animals in an amount not to exceed $300 in actual value
- Tangible personal property that does not exceed $7,500 in value-excluding motor vehicles, trailers, and mobile homes (O.C.G.A. Section 48-5-42, O.C.G.A. Section 48-5-42.1)
How to Apply for an Exemption
Download the Personal Property Tax Exemption Questionnaire or the Real Property Tax Exemption Questionnaire (PDF). Submit the completed form to:
Board of Tax Assessors
P.O. Box 498
Evans, GA 30809
You will be notified in writing of the Board's decision.