In 1852 the General Assembly first authorized property taxation and thus the birth of ad valorem tax in the State of Georgia. Ad valorem tax, more commonly known as property tax, is a large source of revenue for local governments in Georgia.
The basis for ad valorem taxation is the fair market value of the property, which is established as of January 1 of each year. The tax is levied on the assessed value of the property, which by law, is established at 40% of fair market value. The amount of tax is determined by the tax rate (mill rate) levied by various entities (one mill is equal to $1 for each $1,000 of assessed value, or 0.001) multiplied by the assessed value.
Services & Benefits
Property taxes, along with collection of sales tax, license and permit fees, fines and forfeitures, and charges for services, bring in the majority of the funds used to fund the Athens-Clarke County government. Some of the services and benefits provided by tax collection are the administration of the county government and public school system, fire and police protection, libraries, good streets and roads, parks, and hospitals.