The following is a brief overview of special assessment programs available. Please contact the Gilmer County Tax Assessor’s Office for detailed information for these programs. The filing time frame is January 1st-April 1st or during the 45 day Notice of Assessment appeal period.
Conservation Use Property
Current use assessment, usually referred to as conservation use or CUVA, is a 10 year covenant for certain properties being used for bona fide agricultural purposes. CUVA values are set by the State of Georgia. There are restrictions on ownership and use of the property, and this program is also limited to a maximum of 2,000 acres of a single owner. There is no minimum acreage requirement, but all applications on parcels less than 10 acres must submit additional relevant records regarding proof of bona fide agricultural use for qualified property at the time of application. A breach of this covenant results in a penalty where any tax savings accrued over the life of the covenant must be paid back double. (O.C.G.A 48-5-7.4)
Preferential Agricultural Property
Bona fide agricultural property can be assessed at 75% of the assessment of other property. This means that this type of property is assessed at 30% of fair market value rather than 40%. Property that qualifies for this special assessment must be maintained in its current use for a period of 10 years.
Environmentally Sensitive Property
Property can be assessed at its current use value rather than the fair market value when the property is maintained in its natural condition and meets the requirements set by the Department of Natural Resources. Property that qualifies for this special assessment must be maintained in the current use for a period of 10 years.
Residential Transitional Property
Property can be assessed at its current use value, rather than fair market value, when it is used for residential purposes but located in an area that is changing to, or being developed for, a use other than residential.
Historic property that qualifies for listing on the Georgia or National Register of Historic Places may qualify for preferential assessment. The preferential assessment shall extend to the building or structure, the real property on which the building or structure is located, and not more than two acres surrounding the building or structure. The real property receiving preferential assessment may not be changed for a period of 9 years. Property under this special program must be certified by the Department of Natural Resources as rehabilitated historic property or landmark historic property.
Rehabilitated Historic Property
Rehabilitated historic property may qualify for preferential assessment where the rehabilitation has increased the fair market value by not less than 50% or, if income producing property, the fair market value has increased by not less than 100% or, real property that is primarily residential but partially income producing, the fair market value has not increased by not less than 75%
Landmark Historic Property
Landmark historic property may qualify for preferential assessment. The property must be registered on the National or Georgia Register of Historic Places and be certified by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Property must have been certified by a local government as Landmark Historic property having exceptional historic, architectural, or cultural significance pursuant to local preservation ordinance. Preferential assessment applies only to the qualified building, the property on which it is located and no more than two acres of real property surrounding the building. The required local ordinance may provide for inclusion of income-producing real property, non-income producing property or combination therof.
Property which qualifies for participation in the State’s Hazardous Site Reuse and Redevelopment Program and which has been designated as such by the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources may qualify for preferential assessment. This special program provides for the preferential assessment of environmental and contaminated property by freezing the value for 10 years as an incentive for developers to clean up the property and return it to the tax rolls. It also allows an eligible owner to recoup the eligible costs associated with the cleanup of this type of property against their tax liability.
Forest Land Protection Act
Specialized assessment under the Forest Land Protection Act of 2008, usually referred to as FLPA, is a 10 year covenant for certain properties being used for the production of trees, timber, or other wood and wood fiber products. FLPA values are set by the State of Georgia and cannot be appealed by the taxpayer; however, the Board of Tax Assessors must still maintain the fair market value on the property, and that value may be appealed by the property owner. There are limited restrictions on ownership of otherwise qualified tracts. There is no maximum tract size, but there is a minimum requirement of 200 acres and over 50% of the tract must be used for the qualifying purpose. (O.C.G.A 48-5-7.7)