Homestead & Other Exemptions

New!  Four proposals to expand homestead exemptions in Decatur were approved in November 2016.  These changes take effect in 2017, including a new exemption known as the S-4, which exempts school taxes from homeowners over the age of 65.  Homeowners with the existing age-65 exemption known as the GH-2 (details in the chart below) will be automatically granted the new S-4 school exemption.  Homeowners who never applied for the GH-2, such as those who turned 65 during 2016, are encouraged to visit City Hall between Jan. 3, 2017, and Mar. 15, 2017, to apply.

Another new exemption approved in November is for homeowners over the age of 62 with less than $50,000 in annual income.  Homeowners who are eligible for the GH-3 are encouraged to visit City Hall between Jan. 3, 2017, and Mar. 15, 2017, to apply.

The two other proposals that were approved expand existing exemptions.  The new amounts will be factored into homeowners' accounts automatically in 2017.


Homestead Exemptions

The City of Decatur offers seven homestead exemptions for which resident homeowners may qualify. These include general exemptions based on ownership and occupancy as well as exemptions based on age, income and disability. A complete list of exemptions and qualifications is shown in the chart below.

 A homestead exemption reduces the taxable value of your home. For example, if your home is appraised at $200,000, then the assessed value is 50 percent of that amount, or $100,000. With a $20,000 homestead exemption, you only pay taxes on $80,000.

 Homestead exemption applications are accepted year-round; however, to grant an exemption for the current tax year, we must receive your application no later than April 1. However, please note that although we can accept homestead exemptions until April 1, we encourage eligible homeowners to apply for any new exemptions prior to March 15 to ensure your exemption appears on your 1st installment tax bill.  Applications received after April 1 will be processed for the following tax year.

 If you have previously applied for a homestead exemption, you do not need to re-apply. If you filed for a homestead exemption with DeKalb County, you must also apply with the City of Decatur. You must also apply if you now qualify for an exemption based on age or income for which you did not previously qualify.

 If you reside at the property you own, you may apply for the general homestead exemption online. Applicants for all other exemptions based on age and/or income must apply in person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough St., Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

 

Type Qualification Amount Applies To
General Homestead (GH-1)
1981 GA Laws, pg. 914
Must reside at property $20,000 General Fund
Capital Imp. Fund
DDA Fund

General Homestead-3

(GH-3)

Must reside at property and be 65 or older with income under $50,000 $15,000 General Fund
Capital Imp. Fund
DDA Fund
General Homestead-A (GH-2)
1986 GA Laws, pg. 4,475
Must reside at property and must be 65 or older $1,000 General Fund
Capital Imp. Fund
DDA Fund
General & School (GS-1)
1985 GA Laws, pg. 4,140
Must reside at property; and be 62 or older and household income does not exceed $25,000 $50,000

General Fund, Capital Fund, DDA Fund, and School Fund

School (S-1)
O.C.G.A. 48-5-52
Must reside at property and, must be 62 or older; and, household income does not exceed $10,000 – excluding retirement income $10,000 School Fund
School-A (S-2)
1995 GA Laws, pg. 4,208
All owners must reside at property; and must be 80 or older; and household income does not exceed $40,000 ALL School Fund
School (S-3)
H.B. 362
Must reside at property and must be 70 or older $50,000 School Fund
School (S-4)
S.B. 343
Must reside at property and must be 65 or older All School Fund
Disabled Veterans
O.C.G.A. 48-5-48
Must reside at property and have 100% disability per Department of Veterans Affairs $73,768 All Funds


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Apply for Homestead Exemptions Online

If you reside at the property that you own, you may apply for the general homestead exemption. Click here for the general homestead exemption application. You will receive a confirmation of receipt either through U.S. mail or e-mail.

Applicants for all other exemptions that are based on age and/or income must apply in person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Age and Income Verification Documentation

  • Your driver's license or birth certificate showing date of birth
  • Current or previous year's income tax return showing adjusted gross income
  • Social Security benefit statement (SSA-1099)  

Disabled Veterans Exemption Verification Requirements

  1. Presentation of a Letter of Adjudication from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stating that the veteran is entitled to 100% service-connected disability. The Department of Veterans Affairs may be reached by calling 1-800-827-1000. Or,

     

  2. Presentation of the veteran's Honorable Discharge (DD214) and a doctor's letter of certification attesting that the veteran has one or more of the following conditions:
    1. Loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, precluding locomotion without the use of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair;
    2. Blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity, which so affects the function of balance or propulsion so as to preclude locomotion without resorting to a wheelchair;
    3. Loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with residuals or organic disease or injury which so affects the function of balance or propulsion so as to preclude locomotion without resorting to a wheelchair;
    4. Loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with loss or loss of use of one upper extremity which so affects the function of balance or propulsion so as to preclude locomotion without the use of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair.

Note: This exemption may be transferred to, or applied for by, the un-remarried widow or widower of a disabled veteran.

 

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Tax Payment Assistance
In addition to the homestead exemptions, the City of Decatur offers a tax deferral program for homeowners 62 years of age or older with a household income not exceeding $20,000. The taxes on the first $100,000 of assessed value may be deferred, payable with interest upon the sale or transfer of the property. Application for tax deferral must be filed annually on or before March 1 of the year for which the deferral is sought. For more information, call the Revenue Division at 404-370-4100.

You may wish to discuss other payment options, such as reverse mortgages and home equity loans, with a representative from an area financial institution.

© 2017
City of Decatur, Georgia • 509 McDonough Street, Decatur GA 30030 • 404-370-4100 • taxes@decaturga.com