Glossary of Terms

Common Tax Terms


Acres 
Ad Valorem Tax 
Bill No. (Bill Number) 
Building Values 
County Exemption 
Description 
District 
Due Date 
Entity
Fair Market Value 
General Execution Docket 
Gross Assessment 
Homestead Exemption 
Interest 
Intestate 
Land Value 
Late Fee 
Levy 
Map Code
Millage Rate (Tax Rate) 
Net County Assessment 
Net School Assessment 
Penalty 
School Exemption 
Tax Digest 
Tax FIFA 
Tax Lien 
Writ

Acres


The total area of land contained in a parcel. 
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Ad Valorem Tax
A tax that is imposed against real or personal property based on it's value. 
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Bill No. (Bill Number)


A number used by the Athens-Clarke County tax commissioner's office to uniquely identify each parcel in the county for tax purposes. 
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Building Values


The assessed value of buildings residing on the parcels being taxed. 
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County Exemption


The portion of the assessed value for county tax purposes that will be free of taxation. 
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Description


The street address of the parcel. 
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District


The tax jurisdiction where the parcel is located. 
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Due Date


The final date that tax payments can be made without incurring interest, penalties, or late fees. 
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Entity


The taxing authority responsible for the levied taxes. 
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Fair Market Value


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. 
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General Execution Docket


The docket or publication where liens (tax FIFAs) are filed and removed from the clerk of superior court's records. 
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Gross Assessment


The total value of a parcel of property for tax purposes as determined by the county Board of Assessors. In Georgia, property is assessed at 40% of the fair market value unless otherwise specified by law. Property is assessed at the county level. 
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Homestead Exemption


The system developed by the state of Georgia that exempts from taxation a specified amount of assessed value of an owner-occupied home. 
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Interest


An amount assessed as late fee payment of taxes. Interest will be accrued at the rate prescribed by law every month that a balance remains. 
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Intestate


One who dies and leaves no legal will defining their wishes for disposal of property. 
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Land Value


The assessed value of the land that comprises the parcel being taxed. 
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Late Fee


Any fees in addition to interest and penalty that a property owner incurs for late payment of taxes. 
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Levy


The process whereby the tax commissioner, empowered by writ or other judicial directive, actually seizes or otherwise brings into their control, a delinquent taxpayer's property to satisfy the judgment. 
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Map Code


The coordinates used to locate the parcel being taxed on the official map used by the Board of Tax Assessors and the tax commissioner's office. 
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Millage Rate (Tax Rate) 


A rate set annually by the Athens-Clarke County commissioners and the county Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of its assessed value. Each governing authority estimates its total revenue from other sources. This figure is subtracted from its overall budgetary needs, then a millage rate is set that will generate the necessary revenues to fulfill budgetary requirements.  
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Net County Assessment


The value of a parcel for county tax purposes less the county exemption. 
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Net School Assessment


The value of a parcel for school tax purposes less the school exemption. 
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Penalty


An amount assessed for late payment of taxes. A penalty of 5% will be added to any remaining balance every 120 days until reaching the max of 20%.
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School Exemption


The portion of the assessed value for school tax purposes that will be free of taxation. 
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Tax Digest


The tax digest is a master list of all real and personal property holdings in the county. It identifies each parcel by location, name and address of the owner, classification of the property, and the current taxable value. 
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Tax FIFA


A lien for unpaid tax that has been recorded with the clerk of superior court. The filing expands the lien from the specific property to all assets of the named owner. 
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Tax Lien


A claim, encumbrance, or charge on a taxpayer's property for overdue taxes. 
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Writ


A written court order or judicial process directing that the tax commissioner do what is commanded by the order; or giving authority and commission to have it done.
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