§ 48-5-47.1. Homestead exemptions for individuals 62 or older with annual incomes not exceeding $30,000.00
(a) For purposes of this Code section, the term:
(1) “Ad valorem taxes” means all state ad valorem taxes and all county ad valorem taxes for county purposes levied by, for, or on behalf of a county, except for taxes to pay interest on and to retire bonded indebtedness.
(2) “Base year” means the taxable year immediately preceding the taxable year in which the exemption under this Code section is granted.
(3) “Homestead” as applied in this Code section shall mean the homestead as defined and qualified in Code Section 48-5-40, with the additional qualification that it shall include only the primary residence and not more than five contiguous acres of land immediately surrounding such residence.
(4) “Income” means federal adjusted gross income, as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, from all sources.
(5) “Senior citizen” means a person who is 62 years of age or over on or before January 1 of the year in which application for the exemption under this Code section is made.
(b) Each resident of a county who is a senior citizen is granted an exemption on that person’s homestead from all ad valorem taxes in an amount equal to the amount of the assessed value of that homestead which exceeds the assessed value of that homestead for the taxable year immediately preceding the taxable year in which this exemption is first granted to such resident, if that person’s income, together with the income of the spouse of such person and any other person who resides within such homestead, does not exceed $30,000.00 for the immediately preceding taxable year. This exemption shall not apply to taxes assessed on improvements to the homestead or additional land that is added to the homestead after January 1 of the base year. If any real property is removed from the homestead, the assessment in the base year shall be adjusted to reflect such removal and the exemption shall be recalculated accordingly.
(c) A person shall not receive the homestead exemption granted by subsection (b) of this Code section unless the person or person’s agent files an application with the tax commissioner of the county giving the person’s age and the amount of gross income which the person and the person’s spouse and any other persons residing within such homestead received during the last taxable year, and such additional information relative to receiving such exemption as will enable the tax commissioner to make a determination as to whether such owner is entitled to such exemption.
(d) The commissioner shall provide application forms for the exemption granted by this Code section which shall require such information as may be necessary to determine the initial and continuing eligibility of the owner for the exemption.
(e) The exemption shall be claimed and returned as provided in Code Section 48-5-50.1. The exemption shall be automatically renewed from year to year as long as the owner occupies the residence as a homestead. After a person has filed the proper application as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall not be necessary to make application and file such affidavit thereafter for any year and the exemption shall continue to be allowed to such person. It shall be the duty of any person granted the homestead exemption under this Code section to notify the tax commissioner of the county or the designee thereof in the event that person for any reason becomes ineligible for that exemption.
(f) The exemption granted by this Code section shall not apply to or affect any municipal taxes or county school district taxes for educational purposes. The homestead exemption granted by this Code section shall be in lieu of and not in addition to any other homestead exemption applicable to county ad valorem taxes for county purposes.
(g) The exemption granted by this Code section shall apply to all taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 1995.
HISTORY: Code 1981, § 48-5-47.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 400, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 81, § 48.