PROPERTY TAX and STORMWATER FAQS:
What is property taxation? Property Tax is an ad valorem tax, which means “according to value”. Ad valorem tax, the tax collected by the tax officer, is based on the value of the taxable property.
- What property is taxed? 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 and personal property is everything that can be owned that is not real estate. “Personal property” typically consists of inventory and fixtures used in conducting a business, such as boats, aircraft, farm machinery, motor vehicles and mobile homes. The contents of your household are not normally taxable unless they are used for a home-based business.
- Who decides how much my property is worth for tax purposes? The Gwinnett County Board of Assessors and their staff have the responsibility of determining the value of property in Gwinnett County.
- What is the difference between fair market and assessed value? Assessed value is defined as being 40% of the fair market value. Property in Georgia is taxed on the assessed value.
- What is a millage rate? For City taxes, the tax rate or millage rate is set annually by the Mayor and Council of the City of Snellville. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. The 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.
- How is my Tax Bill Calculated? To calculate a tax bill, you must first deduct any exemptions such as Homestead Exemption that may apply from the assessed value, thus generating a net assessed (taxable) value. Next, multiply the net assessed value by the millage rate.
- When is my tax bill due? City of Snellville tax bills for real estate and business personal property are mailed out around September 15th of each year, and are due on or before December 15th of each year. After the due date, interest as decided by the state is added each month to the base amount. Additionally, a penalty of 5% will apply to all taxes that remain unpaid after 120 days. Each 120 days after an additional 5% interest will be added to a maximum of 20%. The City Clerk has the right and responsibility to levy (place a lien) on the property for non-payment, as a last resort for tax collection. Tax bills are mailed to the homeowner, never to the mortgage company. Some mortgage companies contact the City directly to obtain billed amounts, but if not, you should forward the bill you receive to your mortgage company. Please verify with your mortgage company which method they utilize.
- How are Property Tax dollars used? Property Tax revenues account for approximately 30% of funds available to provide City services.
- Activity Senior Center and Park programs
- Beautification areas
- City newsletters
- Development of park lands, maintenance and green space
- Economic development
- Police programs such as the Citizens Police Academy
- Police protection and services
- Public Works Services such as right of way maintenance
- Residential Sanitation Fees
- Street maintenance
- Zoning code and property maintenance enforcement
- Is there any way to reduce my tax bill? Yes, there are several exemptions and special assessment programs available that may apply to your property. The most common are Homestead Exemptions for real estate. Contact the Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner’s Office for details of the available Homestead Exemptions via their website at www.GwinnettTaxCommissioner.com, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 770.822.8800.
- When property is sold, what is the responsibility of the new owner? Property taxes are usually prorated at the real estate closing, and the new owner is legally responsible for payment. Check with your closing attorney. If you have an escrow account, you should forward the tax notice to your mortgage company so the proper party can pay.
- What is the Special Assessment Fee on my Tax Bill?
This is a Stormwater Utility fee. It is a funding mechanism that allows the City to operate and maintain its drainage infrastructure while meeting the unfunded State and Federal clean water regulations. You can visit our Stormwater & Drainage page for complete information on the City program, completed and upcoming projects, and information on how to apply for credits.