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Covington Homestead Exemption

From The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. — Residents could soon get a tax break like never seen before in Covington. (Covington News Story)

City council members voted recently to submit a formal request that the Georgia General Assembly approve a homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes levied by the city.

Homestead exemptions are enacted to reduce homeowners’ ad valorem taxation burden, or property taxation rate. All homeowners who occupy their home or property as of Jan. 1 of the year they file their application can apply for homestead exemptions, according to the Newton County Tax Commissioner’s website. If a person moves into their property after Jan. 1 and files an application, the homestead exemption goes into effect the following year. 

The homestead exemption only applies to property owned and occupied by a taxpayer as their legal residence. People are ineligible for the exemption if receiving one on any other property. Homestead exemptions do not exempt applicants from such fees as solid waste and streetlights. 

Homestead exemptions have never been observed in Covington, but in December, Newton County Tax Commissioner Marcus Jordan told The Covington News he had been working with city leaders to implement such an exemption.

During the council’s Jan. 18 meeting, Mayor Steve Horton also said Jordan had been working with the city to get a homestead exemption in place.

Per the request, the city’s proposed homestead exemption amount “shall not exceed $10,000. The value of the residence in excess of the amount so exempted shall remain subject to taxation.”

Homestead exemptions already available for unincorporated Newton County property owners include:

  • Standard Homestead Exemption — $4,000 exemption deducted from the assessed value of the property.  Resulting in a savings of $132.87 (based on average home value of $150,000).
  • Individuals 65 years of age or older as net income is defined by Georgia law — $30,000 exemption deducted from the assessed value of the property. Resulting in a savings of $996.54 (based on average home value of $150,000).
  • Individuals 62 years of age or older as net income is defined by Georgia law — $20,000 exemption deducted from the assessed value of the property. Resulting in a savings of $664.36 (based on average home value of $150,000).
  • Qualified disabled veterans or their un-remarried surviving spouse or minor child — $90,364 exemption deducted from the assessed value of the property. Resulting in the homeowner paying a minimal amount for fire district (based on average home value of $150,000).

When the request will be presented in the General Assembly remains to be seen. Legislation pertaining to Covington’s request had not been filed as of Jan. 31