Welcome to Cook County's Tax Site


The Tax Commissioner is an elected Constitutional Officer responsible for every phase of collecting property taxes, from preparation of the digest, billing, accounting and disbursements.

Property taxes include those assessed on real estate, public utilities and ad valorem taxes on motor vehicles and mobile homes. These collections are disbursed to state, county, school and city governing authorities.

As a tag agent for the State of Georgia, the Tax Commissioner is also responsible for the collection of all taxes, fees, and penalties for motor vehicles applicable under the Georgia Code. The Tax Commissioner enforces all regulations mandated by the state.

Property
Property is taxable in the county where it is located unless otherwise provided by law. (O.C.G.A. & sect; 48-5-11)

Generally, Cook County real estate and business personal property taxes are due by December 15th. If taxes are not collected on the property, it may be levied upon and ultimately sold. Property tax collected by the local government is used to pay for the support of services provided by the Cook County Board of Education, Cook County and the State of Georgia.

Assessed Values
In Georgia property is assessed at 40% of the fair market value unless otherwise specified by law. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-7) Property is assessed at the county level. The State Revenue Commissioner is responsible for examining the tax digests of counties in Georgia in order to determine that property is assessed uniformly and equally between and within the counties. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-340)

Property owners that do not agree with the appraised value on their assessment notice can file an appeal with the Board of Assessors. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-311) If no agreement is reached, the appeal is automatically forwarded to the Board of Equalization.

The tax bills received by property owners will include both the fair market value and the assessed value of the property. Fair market value means "the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm's length, bona fide sale." (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-2)

Timber
Standing timber is not taxed until sold or harvested, at which time it is taxed based upon 100 percent of its fair market value. This value is then multiplied by the appropriate mill rate to determine the tax amount due.

Equipment, Machinery, and Fixtures
Equipment, machinery, and fixtures are assessed at 40 percent of fair market value. The Board of Assessors may value the equipment, machinery, and fixtures of a going business to reflect the fair market value of the business as a whole. When no ready market exists for the sale of equipment, machinery, and fixtures, a fair market value may be determined by resorting to any reasonable, relevant, and useful information available. This information may include, but is not limited to, the original cost of the property, depreciation or obsolescence, and any increase in value by reason of inflation.

Property Tax Returns
Property tax returns for real estate must be filed with the Cook County Board of Assessors at the Courthouse between January 1 and April 1 of each year where property has changed or been acquired. The taxpayer may elect not to file a property tax return if they have no changes that would affect the value of their property from the previous year. Failure to file a required return will subject the taxpayer to a 10% penalty on the value of the property not returned plus interest and possibly penalties from the date the tax would have been due.

Personal property tax returns (PT-50p) are to be filled annually with the Board of Assessors without regard to change in value or use. This deadline is April 1.

Mobile/Modular Home Location Permits
Owners of mobile homes that are located in Cook County on January 1 must return the mobile home for taxation to the Tax Commissioner on or before April 1 of each year at the same time they apply for the location permit. Failure to file the required return will result in a 10% tax penalty.

It should be noted that the opportunity for a mobile/modular home owner to appeal the value of their mobile home, if it is not homesteaded, will be within 45 days of the mailing of the mobile home tax bill. Mobile home bills are mailed shortly after the 1st of the year and are due by April 1st of each year.

Ad Valorem Tax Refunds
If a taxpayer discovers they have paid taxes that they believe were illegal or erroneous, they may request a refund within 3 years of the date of payment. The claim for refund should be filed in writing with the board of commissioners within three years after the date of payment. Applications for refunds are available from the Board of Assessors or the Tax Commissioner. Refunds for erroneous paid taxes must be based on "errors of fault" and not on disagreements of value.

EXEMPTIONS
Exemptions can typically be defined as a portion of the assessed value that will be free of taxation.

Homestead Exemptions
Homestead exemptions have been enacted to reduce the burden of ad valorem taxation for Georgia homeowners. The exemptions apply to homestead property owned by the taxpayer and occupied as his or her legal residence. Homestead exemptions are deducted from the assessed value of the qualifying property (40% of the fair market value.)

To receive the benefit of the homestead exemption, the taxpayer must file an initial application. In Cook County the application is filed with the Tax Assessor's office. With respect to all of the Homestead Exemptions, the Board of Assessors makes the final determination as to eligibility.

Georgia law allows for the year-round filing of homestead applications but the application must be received by April 1st of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. Homestead applications received after April 1st will be enacted the following year.

Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year and the taxpayer does not have re-apply unless there is a change of residence, ownership, or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.

Under authority of the state constitution several different types of homestead exemptions are provided. These are known as state exemptions. In addition, local governments are authorized to provide for increased exemption amounts, also know as local exemptions. Cook county has such an exemption. The local county exemptions supersede the state exemptions when the local exemption amount is greater than the state amount. Please contact your Tax Assessor for more information regarding homestead exemption.
Motor Vehicles
New residents to Georgia must have the following documents in order to register a vehicle:

Vehicle With No Lien

  • Out of State Title
  • Current Registration from Previous State
  • Proof of Georgia Insurance
  • Georgia Drivers License with Cook County Address
  • Current Mileage

Vehicle With Lien

  • Loan Agreement with Complete Name and Address of Lien Holder
  • T-17 Affidavit of Lien Holder (available at tag office)
  • Proof of Georgia Insurance
  • Georgia Drivers License with Cook County Address
  • Current Mileage

Title Ad Valorem Tax

Titled vehicles that are purchased or transferred in this state after March 1, 2013 will be exempt from sales and use tax and the annual ad valorem tax. Instead, these vehicles will be subject to a new, one-time title ad valorem tax that is based on the value of the vehicle. For more information on Title Ad Valorem Tax and FAQs, click here.

Please click the following to start calculations: TAVT Calculator

Renewals

Renewals on Motor Vehicles are due on the owner’s birth date. Vehicles owned by a business are based on the first letter of the Business name.

Fees

  • Tag Fee for passenger vehicles and trucks weighing up to 14,000 loaded = $20.00
  • Title Transfer Fee = $18.00
  • Trailer Tag Fee = $12.00*
  • Replacement Tag, Decal, or Title = $8.00

*Trailers with a gross vehicle weight of less than 2,000 pounds are not required to be titled in Georgia. The previous registration is required.

Trucks with a gross vehicle weight over 14,000 (Truck and load) fees are based on the weight.

Certain persons may be eligible for a handicap tag or parking placard. To obtain the form necessary to acquire this tag please click HERE.

Vehicle Tag Renewals

Vehicle Tag Renewals can be processed by mail or by bringing to the Tax Commissioners Office. Renewals must be made on or before the birth date of the primary owner when owned by an individual, or the last day of the month for a business.

The penalty for late registration is 10% of the tax and 25% of the tag fee. These penalties begin immediately following the due date.

We accept check, cash, Visa, Master Card, or Discover for payments of Tag Renewals.

The office is located at 209 N. Parrish Avenue, Suite C, Adel, GA 31620. Office hours are Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

For further information regarding vehicle registration please visit the State of Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Website at http://dor.georgia.gov/vehicle-registration
Frequently Asked Questions
The information in this web site is intended to aid you in understanding your rights and responsibilities relating to property tax in Cook County. If you have questions or need clarification, please call the office at (229) 896-4569.

Property tax is an ad valorem tax, which means according to value. Ad valorem tax, the tax collected by the tax commissioner, is based on the value of the taxable property in the county.

Purpose of this Site
The purpose of this site is to answer questions and provide general information to the public on taxation in Cook County, Georgia. This site does not necessarily cover every aspect of property taxation and should not be relied upon as a legal source of information. Please refer to the specified code sections for specific limitations. The Department of Revenue sponsors a web site where the non-annotated version of the Official Code of Georgia can be viewed. To view this site, click HERE.

Property tax is an ad valorem tax, which means according to value. Ad valorem tax, the tax collected by the tax commissioner, is based on the value of the taxable property in the county.

The Cook County Tax Commissioner's Office should be contacted for more information on inquiries about billing and collection of property taxes, and the Cook County Board of Tax Assessor's Office should be contacted for more information on property values. The phone number for the Tax Assessor is 229-896-3665.

What is property taxation?
Property tax is an ad valorem tax, which means according to value. Ad valorem tax, the tax collected by the tax commissioner, is based on the value of the taxable property in the county.

What property is taxed?
All real estate and personal property are taxable unless law has exempted the property. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-3) Real property is land and generally anything that is erected or affixed to the land; personal property is everything that can be owned that is not real estate. Personal property typically consists of inventory and fixtures used in conducting business, boats, aircraft, farm machinery, motor vehicles and mobile homes. Your household property is not normally taxable.

Who decides how much my property is worth for tax purposes?
The Board of Assessors and their staff have the responsibility of determining the value of property in Cook County. Each year between January 1 and April 1 every property owner has the ability to declare a proposed value for their property. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-9) These values are declared in the manner of 'filing a return'. Returns are filed with the Board of Assessors. The Board of Assessors will review your proposed value and if they disagree, an assessment notice with the Boards' value will be mailed to you.

What if I disagree with the Tax Assessors' value?
You have the right to appeal these values to the county Board of Tax Assessors followed by an appeal either to the county Board of Equalization or to Arbitration and in either case, to appeal to superior Court.

What is the difference between fair market value and assessed value?
Assessed value is defined as being 40% of the fair market value. Property in Georgia is taxed on the assessed value.

What is a millage rate?
The tax rate, or millage rate, is set annually by the Cook County Commissioners and the Cook County Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. Each governing authority estimates their total revenue from other sources. This figure is subtracted from their overall budgetary needs, and then a millage rate is set that will generate the necessary revenues to fulfill budgetary requirements.

How is my tax bill calculated?
Once the property owner and the Board of Assessors have come to terms with an appropriate value, this value is provided to the Tax Commissioner for tax bill calculation. To calculate a tax bill, you must first deduct any exemptions that many apply from the assessed value; thus generating a net assessed (taxable) value. Next you multiply the net assessed value by the millage rate.

When is my tax bill due?
Taxes for real estate and business personal property are normally due in Cook County by December 15th of each year. Mobile/modular homes are due April 1 of each year and motor vehicles are due based on the owners' birthday. After the due date, for real estate and business personal property, interest on unpaid tax bills is applied in compliance with Georgia Code (O.C.G.A. § 48-2-40). Additionally, a penalty of 10% will apply to all taxes that are not paid within 90 days of the deadline, however, homesteaded property with a tax liability of less than $500 does not receive the 90-day penalty. If the property taxes remain unpaid, the tax commissioner has the right and responsibility to levy on the property for non-payment. Of course we consider this a last resort for tax collection and prefer to use other collection methods.

Is there anyway to reduce my tax bill?
Yes. There are several exemptions and special assessment programs available that may apply to your property. The most common are the homestead exemption for real estate and for business personal property there is the free port exemption. Contact the Tax Assessor's Office about homestead exemptions and the assessor's office about exemptions such as Freeport, conservation use, etc.

What is and how do I file for homestead exemption?
Homestead exemption is the system developed by the State of Georgia that exempts from taxation a specified amount of assessed value of your home. To recieve the benefit of the homestead exemption, the taxpayer must file an initial application. In Cook county the application is filed with the Tax Commissioner. Georgia Law allows for the year-round filing of homestead applications, but the application must be received by April 1 st of the year for which the exemption is first claimed by the taxpayer. If the application is recieved after April 1 st the exemption will apply to the next tax year. To qualify you must both own and occupy your home as of January 1. Once you have qualified for homestead exemption and remain in the same house you do not need to reapply. However, if you move, you are required to reapply for the exemption for the new location.

Where do I get a copy of my warranty deed?
You can obtain a copy of your warranty deed from the Clerk of Superior Court record center.

Do I pay taxes on my mobile/modular home?
Yes. Mobile/modular homes are considered personal property and are taxable in the State of Georgia. Tax must be paid annually with a due date of April 1. The owner of any mobile/modular home located in Cook County must file a return and obtain a location permit. In order to obtain this permit the mobile home tax for the current year must be paid in full.

Where do property tax dollars go?
  • To support administration of county government and the public school system;
  • To build and repair public buildings and bridges;
  • To pay expenses of courts, county jail and law enforcement;
  • To build and maintain county roads;
  • To provide for fire protection;
  • To provide for public health and sanitation;
  • This is an abbreviated list; please see the Official Georgia Code for a complete list. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-220).
News
Our office will be closed on the following days:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day October
  • Veteran's Day
  • Thanksgiving & day after
  • Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
Cook County, GA




Tonya G. McConnell
Tax Commissioner

209 N. Parrish Ave.
Suite C
Adel GA 31620

Ph: (229) 896-4569
Fax: (229) 896-4638
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