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Homestead Exemption - Fulton County, GA

I purchased a home in Oct 2012 in Fulton County, GA. I didn't know that I had to file for a homestead exemption by April 1st of 2013. My taxes are now $2,500 instead of $700. Is there anything I can do?
  • August 17 2013 - Roswell
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Answers (4)

I'm sure it was quite a shock to open that envelope! Unfortunately, you will have to pay the higher tax rate for this year and then apply for homestead in January of 2014. For more information, follow this link: http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/latest-news/3467-fulton-county-homestead-exemption-deadline-is-april-1

Best of luck to you.
  • August 21 2013
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I am not sure if you used an agent to buy the property, but that is certainly something I would let my agent know about if I were you. A good agent would have provided this advice to you and reminded you about the deadline. You are not the only victim, I see owner occupied properties often when I am performing appraisals that do not have homestead exemptions. I let the homeowner know even if I am doing the appraisal for a bank. Hiring an experienced real estate professional has many advantages. Being a dual certified appraiser/agent I offer appraisal support for my clients the entire time they own the property at no extra fee. In other words if they refi a few years after purchase and get a low ball bank appraisal, if it has errors and most do, I will effectively challenge it for them for free. The majority of agents in Atlanta cannot offer this because they are not certified appraisers, only sales agents. Pick your real estate professional wisely. Good luck getting it filed for next year, let me know if I can help or if you ever want to fight your assessed value. Fighting assessed values also comes free for my clients who purchase houses through me. 
  • August 22 2013
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Profile picture for slsanford2002
What if you mailed the application, confirmed it with the Fulton County office and then find out 2 years later they say they never got it and you owe back taxes? I bought a house in 2011, mailed my homestead exemption, called to see if I needed to reapply each year and they said no, checked my records and said I was good unless I sell the house or move to another primary residence.

I'm not sure how to prove they had it when now it's lost. (Presumably with the transition to their online system since I filed.) 

Thanks for any advice.
  • November 03 2013
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Profile picture for josh bartel
Sslanford, the same thing happened to me.  The office is claiming non-receipt of the form I sent in 2011.  One interesting thing I've been told by David Fitzgibbon, chief appraiser at the assessor's office, is that their policy is to notify new owners that they need to file a homestead exemption.  However, due to staffing shortages, they do not always do this in a timely way.  In your case and mine, it took them two years.  If they'd just followed their own policy, we wouldn't be stuck like this.  One has to wonder how many people were affected by this, as well as how the office chooses which homeowners receive a timely notice and which don't.

I'm appealing the removal of the exemption.  I've also contacted my county commissioner Joan Garner (Joan.Garner@fultoncountyga.gov) and state representative Pat Gardner (repgardner57@gmail.com).  I'd also include Natalie Hall in your correspondence (Natalie.Hall@fultoncountyga.gov), Jacqueline Davis (JacquelineD.Davis@fultoncountyga.gov), David Fitzgibbon (David.Fitzgibbon@fultoncountyga.gov) and Blair White (blair.white@fultoncountyga.gov).

Good luck!
  • November 14 2013
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