Overview & General Information
In Georgia the property tax system is a multi-level, complex structure that sometimes results in a great deal of misunderstanding by the public, the media and even the policy makers. The property tax process involves two different functions-----estimating property values and setting a millage rate that provides the tax funds to meet budgets.
Property taxes play an important role in contributing to the quality of life and they are levied to make up the difference between all other revenues received and the total revenues needed to fund essential services for Macon-Bibb County and the Bibb County Board of Education. Those three governmental organizations provide roads--- fire and police protection---library services---parks and recreation---sanitation--- lighting----emergency management---planning and zoning---economic development----schools and education---public health---entertainment and other vital services from which all of us benefit directly and indirectly.
There are several key participants in the property tax process beginning with county government. They are the Board of Commissioners----the Board of Tax Assessors----the Tax Commissioner and the Board of Equalization. Each of those groups plays a vital role in the overall property tax process.
The Board of Commissioners are responsible for providing the funds, or budget, that
actually pays for the services previously mentioned. They are also
required by state law to appoint the Board of Tax Assessors----an independent
body responsible for estimating property values. State law also
requires the commissioners to provide county funds to finance and administer
the property tax process. This includes the operation of the Board
of Assessors and all appraisal functions, appeal activities and tax collection.
The Board of Commissioners, however, do not have any role in the appraisal
or assessment of property other than making appointments and funding the
process. And, while the county commissioners appoint the Board of
Assessors---state law provides that the Board of Assessors operates independently.
Property taxes are based on two kinds of tangible property: real property and personal property. Taxable real property consists of real estate such as homes-----business----land----farms----and industries. Taxable personal property consists of boats----motors----airplanes----business-owned inventory----furniture---fixtures----machinery and equipment.
The amount of taxes owed on these properties is determined by their value.
Ad valorem is a Latin term that means “according to value”.