Did your property tax bill go up?
When Gwinnett homeowners look at their 2009 property tax bills, they'll owe between $84 and $272 more due to state government budget cuts. Since 1999, the state's Homeowners Tax Relief Grant, otherwise known as HTRG, has provided a credit for a portion of most residential property taxes in Georgia, but legislators decided the state can't afford tax relief this year. The amount the state paid varied by property based on exemptions and location. If a mortgage lender pays your property taxes from an escrow account, the lender will need to adjust your monthly escrow payment to cover this additional expense.

Your tax bill is calculated based on the assessed value of the property (40% of the appraised value), minus any exemptions, multiplied by the millage rate minus any credits. A mill equals $1 for every $1,000 of net assessed value. The millage rate is determined by the budgets adopted by the county, the board of education, and cities (if you reside in a city and the city levies a property tax). Each of these jurisdictions sets its budget and millage rate individually and has no authority over the other jurisdictions. Some areas also have special tax districts that add to the millage rate. In addition, the State of Georgia assesses an additional .25 mill. The Tax Commissioner is responsible for billing, collecting, and distributing your tax dollars to the appropriate jurisdictions.

More information on property taxes is available from the Association County Commissioners Georgia at www.FactsAboutPropertyTax.com.