The mission of the Tax Commissioner’s Office is to collect and disburse all taxes and fees due the State, County, and Schools in a timely manner, and to provide residents quality customer service by applying Georgia laws with integrity and fairness.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the meaning of ad valorem property taxes?
Ad Valorem is Latin for "according to value," and is thought to be a fair basis for collecting taxes because the tax is proportional to your ability to pay and the benefits you gain from the services the county provides. It is a local tax that reflects local budget priorities.
2. Who determines the value of my property for tax purposes?
The Pierce County Board of Assessors determines your property value. This responsibility is managed by the Property Appraiser, under the supervision and approval of the Board of Assessors.
3. What control does the Board of Commissioners have over the office of Tax Commissioner?
None, other than the Board of Commissioners retains budgetary control over this office.
4. Does the Tax Commissioner report to or control the Board of Assessors?
No, the Tax Commissioner’s Office is an independent office separate from both the Board of Assessors and the Board of Commissioners.
5. What is the main duty of the Tax Commissioner in the ad valorem taxation process?
The main duty of the Office of Tax Commissioner is to collect taxes as assessed by the Board of Assessors through application of the ad valorem process.
6. What determines an individual property tax amount?
Your tax amount is calculated using a combination of your property value and the millage rate.
7. What is the arithmetic of the process?
Here is an example calculation that illustrates the process:
Market value $100,000
x assessment ratio (40%) 0.40 = assessed value $40,000 — exemptions $10,000 = taxable assessed value $30,000 x mil rate 0.041 = your tax bill $1,230
8. What is the meaning of the term "tax digest?"
The tax digest is the sum of all the assessed values, after exemptions, of properties to be taxed within a particular jurisdiction.
9. If my property value and assessment remain the same, can my tax bill change?
Yes. The tax rate is the product of two items — the assessed value and the mill rate; a change in either can impact your tax bill.
10. How can you have a tax increase with no mill rate change?
A change in your assessed value or the loss of an exemption could produce a tax increase for you. The millage rate alone does not constitute "taxes."
11. What constitutes a millage rate?
The millage rate is calculated by dividing the total amount of money to be raised through property taxes by the total value of the tax digest.
12. Who sets these rates?
Millage rates are set by the Board of Education, the Board of Commissioners, and the State of Georgia.
13. Do I get an exemption from some assessed value and a reduction in taxes because I own a home and live in it?
Yes. This is known as a homestead exemption. Applications for homestead exemptions in Pierce County are accepted year-round, at the Board of Assessors Office however applications must be filed by March 1 in order to obtain the exemption for the current year. Applications filed after March 1 will result in the exemption being applied the next year. In addition, you must have been the owner of the property on January 1 of the year you are making application. If you purchased your property after January 1, you would not be eligible to receive the exemption until the next year.
14. Are there any other special exemptions?
Yes. There are several special exemptions which are on file in the Board of Assessors Office.