Board of County Commissioners
The Board of County Commissioners, the sole commissioner in some counties, establishes the budget for county operations each year, and then they levy the mill rate necessary to fund the portion of the budget to be paid for by ad valorem tax.
Board of Education
The County Board of Education, an elected body, establishes the annual budget for school purposes and they then recommend their mill rate, which, with very few exceptions, must be levied for the School Board by the County Commissioners.
Taxpayers are required to file at least an initial tax return for taxable property, both real and personal property, owned on January 1 of the tax year. The tax return is a listing of the property owned by the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s declaration of the value of the property. These returns are filed with the Tax Assessor and forms are available in that office at:
71 Case Ave #224
Trenton, GA 30752
Once the initial tax return is filed, the law provides for an automatic renewal of that return each succeeding year at the value finally determined for the preceding year and the taxpayer is required to file a new return only as additional property is acquired, improvements are made to existing property, or other changes occur.
A new return, filed during the return period, may also be made by the taxpayer to declare a different value from the existing value where the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the current value placed on the property by the Board of Tax Assessors. This serves the purpose of establishing the taxpayer’s appeal rights if the declared value is changed again by the Board of Tax Assessors.
When the Board of Tax Assessors changes the value of property from the value in place for the preceding year or from the value that was returned by the taxpayer for the current year, a notice of that change must be sent to the property owner. Upon receipt of the notice, the property owner desiring to appeal the change in value must do so within 45 days. The appeal is filed with the Board of Tax Assessors who reviews again their valuation and the appeal filed and informs the taxpayer of its decision. If the taxpayer remains dissatisfied, the appeal is forwarded to the County Board of Equalization. A hearing is scheduled and conducted, and the Board of Equalization renders its decision.
If the taxpayer is still dissatisfied, an appeal to Superior Court may be made. In lieu of an administrative appeal with the Board of Equalization, an arbitration method of appeal is also available to the taxpayer. The Board of Tax Assessors can provide details regarding this procedure.
The assessment appeal may be made on the basis of the taxability of the property, the value placed upon the property, or the uniformity of that value when compared to other similar properties in the county. The appeal must be filed within the applicable time period and cannot be filed after that time. Additionally, the appeal should not be based on any complaint about the amount of taxes levied on the property.