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Tax Assessor

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Areas Scheduled for Site Visits

Notice to Property Owners and Occupants

Georgia Law (OCGA 48-5-264.1) requires property owners and occupants be provided reasonable notice prior to a site visit conducted by or on behalf of the Columbia County Tax Assessors.

In accordance with Georgia Law (OCGA 48-5-264.1) please be advised that the properties shown on the following list are scheduled for a site visit by an appraiser/data collector. The purpose of these site visits is to update the property record which enables our office to more accurately determine fair market values and/or make other determinations as required by law.

To view areas scheduled for site visits, please visit the Site Visit Schedule.


Appeal Process

Submit your Appeal

Real Property Appeals

Once the appeal has been filed with the Columbia County Board of Tax Assessors within the time provided, an appraiser will contact the taxpayer to schedule a site visit. The appraiser will need to re-measure and inspect the structure inside and out. At this time the owner should point out any concerns with the structure or land. The Board of Tax Assessors will review the valuation, taxability or uniformity issues in question and the taxpayer will be notified in writing of the Board's decision. The value may be increased, decreased or left the same.

Personal Property Appeals

Once the appeal has been filed with the Columbia County Board of Tax Assessors within the time provided, an appraiser will contact the taxpayer, if needed, to discuss the appeal of the business or boat. The Board of Tax Assessors will review the valuation, taxability or uniformity issues in question and the taxpayer will be notified in writing of the Board's decision. The value may be increased, decreased or left the same.

Appeal Form

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ONLINE APPEAL FORM

The following information should be included in your written appeal:

  • Property ID #
  • Your name, address, daytime phone number and email address
  • Reason for appealing (taxability, uniformity, value or denial of homestead exemption)
  • Any pertinent information to support your appeal
  • Whether you would like your appeal to be heard by the county Board of Equalization, a Hearing Officer or an Arbitrator (see below for details)
  • Personal Property Business or Marine Returns must be completed and submitted with any personal property appeals if the previous year's return was not filed. Please use link above  to complete the return to submit with your appeal.

***THE TAXPAYER MUST SELECT ONE OF THE THREE OPTIONS BELOW WHEN FILING AN APPEAL***

Appeal to the County Board of Equalization

The appeal based on value, uniformity, taxability or denial of exemption is filed by the property owner and reviewed by the Board of Assessors. The Board of Assessors may change the assessment and send a new notice. The property owner may appeal the assessment in the amended notice within 30 days. This second appeal made by the property owner or any initial appeal which is not amended by the Board of Assessors is automatically forwarded to the Board of Equalization. A hearing is scheduled and conducted and the Board of Equalization renders its decision at the conclusion of the hearing. If the taxpayer is still dissatisfied, an appeal to Superior Court may be made.

Appeal to a Hearing Officer

The taxpayer may appeal to a Hearing Officer, who is a state certified general real property or state certified residential real property appraiser and is approved as a hearing officer by the Georgia Real Estate Commissioner and the Georgia Real Estate Appraiser Board, when the issue of the appeal is the value or uniformity of value of non-homestead real property or wireless personal property, but only when the value is equal to or greater than $750,000. If the taxpayer is still dissatisfied with the decision of the hearing officer, an appeal to Superior Court may be made.

***If you are a state certified general real property or state certified residential real property appraiser and you are interested in obtaining information about becoming a hearing officer, contact Cindy Mason, Clerk of Superior Court at (706) 312-7139.

Appeal to an Arbitrator

An appeal of value may be filed to Arbitration by filing your appeal specifying Arbitration with the Board of Assessors within 45 days of the date of the notice. The Board of Assessors must notify the taxpayer of the receipt of the arbitration appeal within 10 days. The taxpayer must submit a certified appraisal of the subject property within 45 days of the filing of the notice of appeal which the Board of Assessors may accept or reject. If the taxpayer’s appraisal is rejected the Board of Assessors must certify the appeal to the county Clerk of Superior Court for arbitration. The arbitration is authorized by the judge and a hearing is scheduled within 30 days. The arbitrator will issue a decision at the conclusion of the hearing, which may be further appealed to Superior Court. If the taxpayer’s value is determined by the arbitrator to be the value, the county is responsible for the Clerk of the Superior Court’s fees, if any, and the fees and costs of the arbitrator. If the Board of Assessors’ value is determined by the arbitrator to be the value, the taxpayer is responsible for the Clerk of the Superior Court’s fees, if any, and the fees and costs of the arbitrator.

Appeals to the Superior Court

Written notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days to the county Board of Tax Assessors.
Once a decision has been made by the county Board of Equalization, a Hearing Officer or an Arbitrator, the taxpayer may appeal their decision to the Superior Court of the county by mailing or filing with the county Board of Tax Assessors a written notice of appeal. The written notice of appeal should be mailed or filed within 30 days from which the decision of the county Board of Equalization, Hearing Officer or Arbitrator was mailed or hand delivered.

Ad valorem taxes must be paid.
Before the Superior Court can hear an appeal, the ad valorem taxes must be paid in an amount equal to the last year in which taxes were determined to be due. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-29)

Settlement Conference.
Within 45 days of receipt of a taxpayer's notice of appeal to Superior Court, the county Board of Tax Assessors shall send to the taxpayer notice that a settlement conference in which the county Board of Tax Assessors and the taxpayer shall confer in good faith, shall be held no later than 30 days from the notice of the settlement conference. If at the conclusion of the conference the parties fail to agree on a fair market value, the county Board of Assessors shall provide written notice to the taxpayer that the filing fees must be paid by the taxpayer to the Clerk of Superior Court within ten days of the date of the conference.

Notification of Certification of Notice of Appeal to Clerk of Superior Court.
Within 30 days of receipt of proof of payment to the Clerk of Superior Court, the county Board of Tax Assessors will certify the notice of appeal and any other papers specified by the person appealing to the Clerk of the Superior Court. The taxpayer or their attorney or agent will be served with a copy of the notice of appeal with the civil action file number assigned to the appeal.

Appeal Heard by Superior Court

In most cases the appeal will be heard before a jury at the first term of court unless questions of law are at issue in the appeal.

Property Owner Could Recover Court Costs and Fees

If the final determination of value on appeal is 85% or less of the valuation set by the county Board of Equalization, Hearing Officer, or Arbitrator as to any real property, the taxpayer, in addition to the interest provided for in subsection (m) of Code section 48-5-311, shall recover costs of litigation and reasonable attorney's fees incurred in the action. Any appeal of an award of attorney's fees by the county shall be specifically approved by the governing authority of the county.


Property Tax Exemption

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 which 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.

For more information about Property Tax Exemption, please visit the Tax Exemption page.


Personal Property (Boat, Business and Mobile)

Boats and Motor

Boats must be registered with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and are taxed annually based on their value. A Marine Personal Property Return (Download PDF Form) is mailed in January of each year and must be filed on or before April 1. Assessment notices are mailed each year. There is an appeal period of 45 days, after which a tax bill is mailed. Taxes are due November 15th. Please contact the Assessors' Office with any questions about your boat value, and contact DNR with any questions about boat registration.

NOTE: A current year Marine Personal Property Return (Download PDF Form) should ALSO be completed and submitted if you SOLD, DISPOSED or MOVED your boat out of Columbia County before January 1.

Business

In January, following the issuance of an occupational tax, you will receive a Personal Property Return form from the Tax Assessor's Office. Please visit the forms library to locate the appropriate form. In May, you will receive an assessment notice. If you desire to appeal this value, you have 45 days to do so in writing. For help in completing any of the forms or with the deadline constraints please call (706) 312-7474.

More Information

Mobile Home

Personal Property Mobile Home tax bills were mailed on January 26, 2018.  

The last day to file an appeal for the 2018 tax year is April 1, 2018.

Time is important, as late appeals are invalid and will not be accepted.

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