Frequently Asked Questions

Taxpayers can request a change for their Property Tax mailing address by viewing their record and selecting the ‘Update Mailing Address’ option, or by clicking here.
Property tax is an ad valorem tax, which means according to value. Ad valorem tax, the tax collected by the tax commissioner, is based on the value of the taxable property in the county.
All real estate and personal property are taxable unless law has exempted the property. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-3) Real property is land and generally anything that is erected, growing or affixed to the land; personal property is everything that can be owned that is not real estate. Personal property typically consists of inventory and fixtures used in conducting business, boats, aircraft, farm machinery, motor vehicles and mobile homes. Your household property is not normally taxable.
The Board of Assessors has the responsibility of determining the value of property in Pickens County. Each year between January 1 and April 1 every property owner has the ability to declare a proposed value for their property. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-9) These values are declared in the manner of ‘filing a return’. Returns for real estate are filed in the Tax Assessor’s office and returns for personal property are filed with the Board of Assessors. The Board of Assessors will review your proposed value and if they disagree, an assessment notice with the Boards’ value will be mailed to you.
Taxpayers may challenge an assessment by Pickens County Board of Tax Assessors by appealing to Pickens County Board of Equalization or to an arbitrator(s) within 45 days from the date of the assessment notice. Once the county board of equalization or the arbitrator(s) has rendered a decision, the taxpayer may continue their appeal to the superior court by mailing or filing with Pickens County Board of Tax Assessors a written notice wishing to continue the appeal. Assessed value is defined as being 40% of the fair market value. Property in Georgia is taxed on the assessed value. The tax rate, or millage rate, is set annually by the Pickens County Board of Commissioners and the Pickens County Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. Each governing authority estimates their total revenue from other sources. This figure is subtracted from their overall budgetary needs, and then a millage rate is set that will generate the necessary revenues to fulfill budgetary requirements. Once the property owner and the Board of Assessors have come to terms with an appropriate value, this value is provided to the Tax Commissioner for tax bill calculation. To calculate a tax bill, you must first deduct any exemptions that may apply from the assessed value; thus generating a net assessed (taxable) value. Next you multiply the net assessed value by the millage rate.
The tax rate, or millage rate, is set annually by the Pickens County Board of Commissioners and the Pickens County Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. Each governing authority estimates their total revenue from other sources. This figure is subtracted from their overall budgetary needs, and then a millage rate is set that will generate the necessary revenues to fulfill budgetary requirements.
  • Real Estate - due on December 4th.
  • Business Personal Property - due on December 4th.
  • Mobile/Manufactured Homes - due on April 1st.
    • Motor Vehicles are Due Based on the Owner's Birthday.
After the due date, for real estate and business personal property, interest at the rate of .5625% will be added to your bill.  January 2018 interest will be prime plus 3% will be added each month.  After 120 days a penalty of 5% will be added. If the property taxes remain unpaid, the Tax Commissioner has the right and responsibility to levy on the property for non-payment. Of course, we consider this a last resort for tax collection and prefer to use other collection methods.

Tax bills are mailed to the homeowner, never to the mortgage company. You must forward your bill to your mortgage company if necessary.

Partial payments are accepted, but after the due date interest accrues monthly, and every 120 days after the due date a 5% penalty is added with a 20% cap.
  • Office - check, cash or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express).
  • Online - this website by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express).
  • Phone - Call toll free (855) 912-7052. Our local office cannot process payments over the phone.

A convenience fee of 2.65 %  will be added to all Credit Card payments made in the Office, Online or by Phone.

Yes. There are several exemptions and special assessment programs available that may apply to your property. The most common are the homestead exemption for real estate and for business personal property there is the freeport exemption. Contact the Pickens County Tax Assessor’s Office for details of the available special assessment programs and Homestead exemptions.

Homestead Exemptions Homestead exemptions have been enacted to reduce the burden of ad valorem taxation for Georgia homeowners. The exemptions apply to homestead property owned by the taxpayer and occupied as his or her legal residence (some exceptions to this rule apply and your tax commissioner can explain them to you). Homestead exemptions are deducted from the assessed value of the qualifying property (40% of the fair market value).

An applicant seeking a homestead exemption shall file a written application with the Pickens County Board of Tax Assessors at any time during the calendar year subsequent to the property becoming the primary residence of the applicant up to and including the date for the closing of the books, which is April 1 for Pickens County, for the return of taxes for the calendar year. Homestead applications received after that date will be applied to the next tax year. Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year and the taxpayer does not have to apply again unless there is a change of ownership or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.

First time homeowners need to bring a copy of their warranty deed to insure their application is filed correctly.

Georgia law allows for the year-round filing of homestead applications but the application must be received by April 1 of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. Homestead applications received after that date will be applied to the next tax year.

Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year and the taxpayer does not have to apply again unless there is a change of residence, ownership, or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.

Under authority of the State Constitution several different types of homestead exemptions are provided. In addition, local governments are authorized to provide for increased exemption amounts and several have done so. The tax commissioner in your county can answer questions regarding the standard exemptions as well as any local exemptions that are in place.

The Local County Exemptions supersede the state exemption amount when the local exemption is greater than the state exemption. Pickens county has such exemptions: Homeowners 62 years of age or older, as of January 1 of the taxable year, provided the gross income of the applicant and spouse does not exceed $25,000, and are entitled to a total exemption off the assessed value for school taxes.

The Standard Homestead Exemption is available to all homeowners who otherwise qualify by ownership and residency requirements and it is an amount equal to $2,000 which is deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead property. The exemption applies to the maintenance and operation portion of the mill rate levy of the county and the county school system and the State mill rate levy. It does not apply to the portion of the mill rate levied to retire bonded indebtedness.

Surviving Spouse Homestead Exemption — An unremarried surviving spouse may continue to receive the homestead exemption at the base value established for the deceased spouse, upon application and qualification. This exemption only applies to those counties that passed a local base year floating exemption.

The Standard Elderly School Tax Homestead Exemption is an increased homestead exemption for homeowners 62 and older where the net income of the applicant and spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the preceding year. A portion of Social Security income and certain retirement income are excluded from the calculation of the income threshold. This exemption applies to school tax including taxes levied to retire bonded indebtedness. The amount of the exemption is up to $10,000 deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead property.
The Standard Elderly General Homestead Exemption is available to homeowners who otherwise qualify and who are 65 and older where the net income of the applicant and spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the preceding year. Social Security income and certain retirement income are excluded from the calculation of the income threshold. This exemption, which is in an amount up to $4,000 deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead property, applies to county taxes, school taxes, and the state tax and it does apply to taxes levied to retire bonded indebtedness.
Homestead Exemption for Senior Citizens is in an amount equal to the actual levy for state ad valorem tax purposes on the residence and no more than 10 contiguous acres of land. This exemption is in addition to any other homestead to which the applicant qualifies.

The Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption is available to certain disabled veterans in an amount up to $50,000 deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead property. This exemption applies to all ad valorem tax levies; however, it is restricted to certain types of very serious disabilities (that are service-connected disabilities) and proof of disability, either from the Veterans Administration or from a private physician in certain circumstances.

A similar exemption in the same amount is now available to the un-remarried surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in any war or armed conflict engaged in by the United States. The surviving spouse must furnish appropriate documentation that spousal benefits are received as a result of the death of the armed forces member.

Peace Officer or Firefighter Homestead Exemption is available for the surviving spouse, which provides an exemption for the full value of the homestead with respect to all ad valorem taxes for the unmarried surviving spouse of a peace officer or firefighter who was killed in the line of duty.
Tax Exemption for Farm Equipment is expanded to include tax exemption for agricultural products and equipment to include certain additional farm equipment held under a lease purchase agreement.

The Floating or Varying Homestead Exemption is an exemption which is available to homeowners 62 or older with gross household incomes of $30,000 or less. The exemption applies to state and county ad valorem taxes but it does not apply to school tax. The exemption is called a floating exemption because the amount of the exemption increases as the value of the homestead property is increased. However, since the exemption replaces any other state and county exemption already in place for the property, taxpayers should be very careful in making application since in many instances the granting of this exemption will initially at least increase the amount of taxes levied on the property.

The Homeowners Tax Relief Grant, authorized by the Governor and the General Assembly provides a tax relief credit in an amount up to $8,000 in assessed value for all homeowners who are receiving one of the state homestead exemptions. This relief is shown on the property tax bill for State, county, school, and city purposes as a credit against taxes that otherwise would have been due. In addition to the various homestead exemptions that are authorized, the law also provides a Property Tax Deferral Program whereby qualified homestead property owners 62 and older with gross household income of $15,000 or less may defer but not exempt the payment of ad valorem taxes on a part or all of the homestead property. Generally, the tax would be deferred until the property ownership changes or until such time that the deferred taxes plus interest reach a level equal to 85% of the fair market value of the property.

With respect to all of the homestead exemptions, the Board of Assessors makes the final determination as to eligibility; however, if the application is denied the taxpayer must be notified and an appeal procedure is then available to the taxpayer.

You can obtain a copy of your warranty deed from the Clerk of Superior Court deed room. This office is located in the Pickens County Courthouse.
Yes. Mobile/modular homes are considered personal property and are taxable in the State of Georgia. The owner of any mobile/modular home located in Pickens County must file a return and obtain a location permit. In order to obtain this permit the mobile home tax for the current year must be paid in full. Mobile Home bills are mailed in January of each year and are due on or before April 1st.  All mobile homes in Pickens County are required to have a current decal visibly posted by April 1st of each year. These decals are issued upon receipt of tax payment. If you pay in person, your decal will be issued immediately. If you choose another method of payment, your decal will be mailed to you when payment is received.
Property tax dollars support administration of county government and the public school system; build and maintain public buildings; bridges and county roads; pay expenses of courts; county jail and law enforcement; provide fire protection; and provide for public health and sanitation. This is an abbreviated list of how tax dollars are used to support local government projects. Please click here to review the Georgia Code for a complete list. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-220)
When taxes remain unpaid for more than 90 days after their due date, the taxes are subject to a tax fifa (lien) being recorded in the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court. These records are public so credit bureaus may access them and may use them to adversely affect your credit. The tax office does not deal with these credit bureaus and so has no control on how they use the information or how often they update their records.