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Homestead Exemption 2024
Dated: January 4 2024
If you are a Georgia resident who purchased a primary residence in 2023 (or made a prior owned property your primary residence as of December 31, 2023) and that property is located in Chatham County, please see below to determine whether it is the right time for you to file the Homestead Exemption.
You only file the Homestead Exemption one time. Please understand that the following information is general in nature and may not apply to your specific situation.
To determine the correct time for you to file the Homestead Exemption in Chatham County, please complete the following steps:
Go to the Chatham County Board of Assessor’s website at boa.chathamcountyga.gov.
Scroll about halfway down the page and click the Online Filings & Records Search tab. Read the disclaimer and select the Agree tab.
Type in your property address ONLY and click the Search button.
Once you locate your property, click on the address to open the link.
Locate and click on the Property Record Card (PRC) tab on the left side of the page.
Scroll down until you see Appraised Values. Locate the 2023 Tax Year and go to the Appraised Total in that same row (4th column). That amount is the 2023 fair market value. NOTE: Do not be alarmed if the PRC for your property is not in your name yet. The Tax Assessor will update its record to reflect the new owner during the first quarter of 2024.
Please check below that corresponds with your property’s Appraised Value and your purchase price:
My property’s 2023 Appraised Total is more than I paid.
For those of you who bought a primary residence located in Chatham County in 2023 at a price lower than the 2023 Appraised Total, then do not file the Homestead Exemption in 2024 (however, if the difference between the 2023 Appraised Total and what you paid for the home is small, you likely should go ahead and file). So why don’t I file yet? If you file the Homestead Exemption under these circumstances, you will stabilize your tax assessed value (also known as the Stephens-Day Exemption value) at an amount higher than what you paid for the property. So, what do I do?
Around mid-May 2024, you should receive a valuation notice (Annual Notice of Assessment) from the Chatham County Tax Assessor that shows the 2024 Current Fair Market Value as equal to the price you paid for the home. Assuming that is what the Notice of Assessment shows, you should file the Homestead Exemption between January 1, 2025 and April 1, 2025. Do NOT forget!
If for some reason the Notice of Assessment you receive does not reflect your purchase price (as there are a few exceptions), the Notice of Assessment will provide you instructions on how to appeal your home’s tax assessed value. You would want to file an appeal in an attempt to have the county reduce your home’s fair market value to your purchase price. Once the appeal process is completed and you are satisfied with the fair market value determined by the county then remember to file for the Homestead Exemption before April 1, 2025.
If you have not received the Notice of Assessment by mid-May 2024, please contact the Tax Assessor’s office to ensure you know when those will be mailed (and confirm the mailing address that the county will mail it to).
IMPORTANT: Even if the 2023 Appraised Total is higher than what you paid for the property, there are certain circumstances in which you should still file. For example, if you qualify for a much larger exemption (i.e., disability exception), then that larger exemption may outweigh your decision not to file.
My property’s 2023 Appraised Total is the same or less than I paid.
If the 2023 Appraised Total is the same or less than what you paid for your home (assuming this is not new construction), you want to file for the Homestead Exemption on or before April 1, 2024. By filing for the Homestead Exemption, you will receive a reduction of your home’s assessed value each year going forward as long as you reside in the home as your primary residence. In addition, you will be able to stabilize your home’s assessed value (the exemption that stabilizes for home’s fair market value is known as the Stephens-Day Exemption). This is a good thing because this will prevent your home’s assessed value from significantly increasing over the years (as long as you do not apply for a building permit).
New Construction Homes
Often times when you purchase a new construction home, the county has not assessed the completed home, just the land value. Thus, when you look at the 2023 Appraised Total it may show a very low number (likely just the value for the lot). While you will not be able to take advantage of this super low value you still can and should file the Homestead Exemption. However, you MUST remember to obtain your Annual Notice of Assessment which the county will mail to you in mid-May 2024. The Notice of Assessment will have the Current Year Fair Market Value which will include both the land and building value. If that value is right around or less than what you paid for the home then there is nothing further to do (assuming you already filed for the Homestead Exemption). If that value is much more than what you paid for the home then you will need to file an appeal in an attempt to have the fair market value (for Stephens-Day purposes) reduced to your purchase price.
To file the Homestead and Stephens Day Exemption in Chat ham County, you will need your driver’s license and vehicle registration (both showing the new address). You will file online by following these steps:
Go to the Chatham County Board of Assessor’s website at chathamcountyga.gov.
Scroll about halfway down the page and click the Online Filings & Records Search Read the disclaimer and select the Agree tab.
Locate and click on the E-File tab at the top of the screen.
Click on the New User? Create an account tab to create an account.
Once an account has been created, select Homestead Application from the list of available filings. Click Begin Filing.
Type in your property address ONLY and click the Search
Once you locate the property, click Start Filing.
Follow all prompts to complete the application, clicking Next when each page is complete.
When prompted to attach your Georgia Driver License and Georgia Motor Vehicle Registration (both showing the new address), click Select files to upload the documents. NOTE: You will need to scan or upload the documents to your computer or device prior to completing this step.
Submit the application when complete.
NOTE: If you are filing any additional exemptions (i.e., senior, disabled veterans, etc.) you MUST file in person at the Tax Assessor’s Office.
Chatham County Tax Assessor’s Office
222 West Oglethorpe Avenue
Savannah, Georgia 31401
By: Joel K. Gerber
Attorney at Law
Brannen, Searcy & Smith, LLP
22 East 34th Street
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 484-1996 | cell
(912) 234-8875 | office
(912) 232-1792 | fax
Richmond Hill Office:
405 Harris Trail Road
Richmond Hill, GA 31324
Meet Jenny Rutherford Jenny Rutherford Real Estate, LLC. Where did you grow up? I grew up on a farm at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. I've lived in several states, including Virgi....