Homestead Exemption Deadline Looming

The deadline is quickly approaching for Smyrna homeowners to file for their homestead exemption. You can apply for exemptions year-round by mail or in person; however, you must apply by April 1st to receive the exemption for that tax year.

If you purchased a home in 2010 or earlier, you still have a couple days left to file for the homestead exemption. If you purchased this year, you can file at any time this year, but the homestead exemption won’t take effect until 2011.

Applications not filed by the deadline constitute a waiver of the exemption for that year. Your closing attorney does not apply for you.

The Tax Commissioner’s office mails Homestead Exemption applications around the end of January to homeowners on record who purchased or transferred property the previous year. If you do not receive an application you can print one from Cobb County’s Tax Commissioner site or call (770) 528-8600 to request one.

To qualify you must own, occupy and claim the property as your legal residence on January 1st of the year for which you apply. The applicant’s name must appear on the deed to this property in order to qualify.

By law, you must pay your motor vehicle taxes in the county where you claim Homestead Exemption. A current registration or receipt of motor vehicle taxes paid in Cobb County must be provided for all personal vehicles you own at the time you apply for exemptions. You must also provide legal evidence of residency and United States citizenship, such as a Georgia driver’s license, Georgia ID card, etc.

Exemptions are automatically renewed and you need not reapply if you refinance your home.

Homeowners who meet the basic Homestead Exemption requirements are entitled to a $10,000 exemption in the county general and school general tax categories. The Basic Homestead Exemption was worth $257.70 in 2010.

The Cobb County Taxpayer Reassessment Relief Act, which affects homestead property that is reassessed, automatically increases the Homestead Exemption amount in the county general tax category by the same amount that the value increases.

Homeowners who are 62 years of age on or before January 1 are entitled to exemption from all taxes in the school general and school bond tax categories.  You must furnish proof of age when you apply.

Time is running out to file for this year, so don’t delay.

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