New! Four proposals to expand homestead exemptions in Decatur were approved in November 2016. These changes take effect in 2017, including a new exemption known as the S-4, which exempts school taxes from homeowners over the age of 65. Homeowners with the existing age-65 exemption known as the GH-2 (details in the chart below) will be automatically granted the new S-4 school exemption. Homeowners who never applied for the GH-2, such as those who turned 65 during 2016, are encouraged to visit City Hall between Jan. 3, 2017, and Mar. 15, 2017, to apply.
Another new exemption approved in November is for homeowners over the age of 62 with less than $50,000 in annual income. Homeowners who are eligible for the GH-3 are encouraged to visit City Hall between Jan. 3, 2017, and Mar. 15, 2017, to apply.
The two other proposals that were approved expand existing exemptions. The new amounts will be factored into homeowners' accounts automatically in 2017.
To apply for the basic homestead exemption online, please click here.
The City of Decatur offers several homestead exemptions for which resident homeowners may qualify. These include general exemptions based on ownership and occupancy as well as exemptions based on age, income and disability. A complete list of exemptions and qualifications is shown in the chart below.
A homestead exemption reduces the taxable value of your home. For example, if your home is appraised at $200,000, then the assessed value is 50 percent of that amount, or $100,000. With a $20,000 homestead exemption, you only pay taxes on $80,000.
Homestead exemption applications are accepted year-round; however, to grant an exemption for the current tax year, we must receive your application no later than April 1. However, please note that although we can accept homestead exemptions until April 1, we encourage eligible homeowners to apply for any new exemptions prior to March 15 to ensure your exemption appears on your 1st installment tax bill. Applications received after April 1 will be processed for the following tax year.
If you have previously applied for a homestead exemption, you do not need to re-apply. If you filed for a homestead exemption with DeKalb County, you must also apply with the City of Decatur. You must also apply if you now qualify for an exemption based on age or income for which you did not previously qualify.
If you reside at the property you own, you may apply for the general homestead exemption online. Applicants for all other exemptions based on age and/or income must apply in person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough St., Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
|General Homestead (GH-1)
1981 GA Laws, pg. 1914
|Must reside at property||$25,000||General Fund
Capital Imp. Fund
|General Homestead-A (GH-2)
1986 GA Laws, pg. 4,475
|Must reside at property and must be 65 or older||$10,000||General Fund
Capital Imp. Fund
General Homestead-3 (GH-3)
|Must reside at the property, be 62 or older, and have income under $50,000. This exemption takes effect in 2017.||$15,000||
Capital Imp. Fund
|General & School (GS-1)
1985 GA Laws, pg. 4,140 & 4.411
|Must reside at property; and be 62 or older and household income (of you, your spouse, and resident family members) of any type cannot exceed $25,000||$50,000||General Fund, Capital Imp. Fund, DDA Fund, School Fund|
|Must reside at property, must be 62 or older; and the income (including salary, wages, rental income, interest, and dividends) of you and your spouse cannot exceed $10,000, excluding retirement income (such as retirement benefits, pensions, and Social Security)||$10,000||School Fund|
1995 GA Laws, pg. 4,208
|Must reside at property, must be 80 or older, and the federal adjusted gross income of you and your spouse cannot exceed $40,000||ALL||School Fund|
H.B. 362 (2001)
|Must reside at property and must be 70 or older||$50,000||School Fund|
|Must reside at the property and must be 65 or older. This exemption takes effect in 2017.||ALL||School Fund|
|Must reside at property and have 100% disability per Department of Veterans Affairs||$67,555||All Funds|
Apply for Homestead Exemptions Online
If you reside at the property that you own, you may apply for the general homestead exemption. Click here for the general homestead exemption application. You will receive a confirmation of receipt either through U.S. mail or e-mail.
Age and Income-Based Exemptions
Applicants for all other exemptions that are based on age and/or income must apply in person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For age-based exemptions, you must be the age specified as of January 1 of the tax year for which your are applying in order to qualify. Please bring:
- Your driver's license or birth certificate showing your date of birth
- Previous year's income tax return showing adjusted gross income
- Social Security benefit statement (SSA-1099)
Disabled Veterans Exemption Verification Requirements
- Presentation of a Letter of Adjudication from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stating that the veteran is entitled to 100 percent service-connected disability. The Department of Veterans Affairs may be reached by calling 1-800-827-1000. Or,
- Presentation of the veteran's Honorable Discharge (DD214) and a doctor's letter of certification attesting that the veteran has one or more of the following conditions:
- Loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, precluding locomotion without the use of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair;
- Blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity, which so affects the function of balance or propulsion so as to preclude locomotion without resorting to a wheelchair;
- Loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with residuals or organic disease or injury which so affects the function of balance or propulsion so as to preclude locomotion without resorting to a wheelchair;
- Loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with loss or loss of use of one upper extremity which so affects the function of balance or propulsion so as to preclude locomotion without the use of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair.
Note: This exemption may be transferred to, or applied for by, the un-remarried widow or widower of a disabled veteran.
The surviving spouse of a deceased individual may file a petition for year's support within 24 months of the death of the individual at the DeKalb County Probate Court. If approved, the surviving spouse qualifies for an exemption from City of Decatur property taxes for that year.
Tax Payment Assistance
In addition to the homestead exemptions, the City of Decatur offers a tax deferral program for homeowners 62 years of age or older with a household income not exceeding $20,000. The taxes on the first $100,000 of assessed value may be deferred, payable with interest upon the sale or transfer of the property. Application for tax deferral must be filed annually on or before March 1 of the year for which the deferral is sought.
You may wish to discuss other payment options, such as reverse mortgages and home equity loans, with a representative from an area financial institution.