Our office bills, collects, and distributes ad valorem property taxes for:
Property tax is the primary source of revenue for local governments. Property tax is an ad valorem tax. Ad valorem means "according to value."
The Board of Commissioners is responsible for setting the county budget using the property tax assessments as determined by the Tax Assessors (https://whitfieldassessor.com/). After setting the budget, they determine the millage rate which must be sufficient to cover the portion of the county budget that is funded by property tax.
Real and personal property tax statements are mailed by October 20 and are due on December 20 of each year. If these dates fall on the weekend, they shift to the next business day. Real property consists of land as well as anything erected, growing or affixed to the land. Personal property includes furniture and fixtures, machinery & equipment and inventory in a business. For individuals, personal property includes boats and motors as well as aircrafts. The Tax Commissioner is responsible for billing the property owner of record as of January 1.
Ad valorem tax is calculated using the following formula:
Millage Rates are announced yearly in August when the local taxing authorities (Board of Commissioners and Board of Education) approve them. Please click HERE to see the approved millage rates since 2001.
The overage amount from the tax sale of a property, known as “excess funds”, in which the final bid is greater than the amount due for taxes, accrued costs and all expenses of the tax sale. The excess funds is held in escrow by the Tax Commissioner’s Office. Anyone who has a legal interest in the property prior to the time of the tax sale (such as a mortgage company or anyone who holds a duly recorded lien against the owner of the property) may file a claim for the excess funds, in addition to the property owner, with the Tax Commissioner’s office.
Excess funds are available for distribution to the entitled parties in the order of priority in which their interest exists. Excess funds are subject to priority claim by the mortgagee or security interest holder. The record owner of the property at the time of tax sale may claim the overage only if the property is not encumbered by a mortgage and/or lien, or if there are funds remaining after the mortgagee and/or lien holder has satisfied their secure claim(s).
If competing claims for the excess funds are presented, or uncertainties or doubts of entitlement arise, an interpleader action may be filed in Superior Court for determination as to proper distribution. Claims by lien holders must include a current payoff statement. Rights to excess funds are controlled and established by state law which determines the priority of liens and which ones get paid first.
The time it takes to review the claim varies and is dependent upon the number of claims received, as well as the documentation included with the claim form. Failure of a claimant to file for excess funds does not eliminate their rights to said funds.
All claimants should request an Excess Funds Claim Form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: Whitfield County Tax Commissioner’s Office, Attn: Excess Funds, 1013 Riverburch Parkway Dalton, GA 30721.
Mobile home statements are mailed by January 15 of each year and are due by April 1. All mobile homes are required to have a current year decal visibly posted. These decals are issued upon receipt of tax payment.
If paid in person, the decal will be issued immediately. If another method of payment is chosen, the decal will be mailed when payment is received.
If mobile home tax is paid after the due date, a state mandated penalty of 10% of the tax due & monthly interest is assessed on the unpaid balance. Failure to obtain and properly display a current year mobile home decal will result in a lien being placed on the mobile home and may be subject to sale.
Mobile home owners who disagree with the Board of Tax Assessors’ value of their mobile home must file an appeal with the Tax Assessors’ Office or online (https://whitfieldassessor.com/) within 45 days of the mailing of their tax bill or April 1st, whichever occurs later.
Purchased/Sold a Mobile Home
When purchasing or transferring the ownership of a mobile home, the new owner must apply for a title within 30 days of purchase. A current tax paid receipt must be provided before the title application will be processed.
Steps to follow after purchase:
All property owner information is updated by the Tax Assessors’ Office. The Tax Assessors use deed information recorded in the Superior Court Clerk’s Office to update tax records for all real property. Tax statements are mailed to the owner as of January 1. For questions regarding the ownership record or how to update owner information (i.e. mailing address, contact information, etc.), please contact the Tax Assessors’ Office at 478.621.6701 or online (https://whitfieldassessor.com/).
Mortgage / Escrow
Our office mails tax statements to property owners, not to mortgage companies. We do send mortgage companies a data file that contains the property information and the tax amount due. It is the mortgage company’s responsibility to use the data file to pay the accounts of their customers that are in escrow. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner to ensure taxes are paid. For questions regarding the role of individual mortgage companies in paying the tax, contact the company directly, especially if the mortgage company has recently changed.
Ownership Changes - Real Property
If property was sold during the year, the tax digest will reflect the owner of record’s name as of January 1 of the tax year per Georgia Tax Code. If the property ownership changed after January 1, if our office is notified within 90 days of the due date of who the current owner is and a closing statement is provided, we will bill the current owner upon verifying the transfer. The Tax Commissioner is not responsible for determining a property owner’s payment obligation. The property owner is responsible for paying the taxes when due.
Ownership Changes - Personal Property (Business Inventory/Equipment, Boats, Aircraft)
Georgia Tax Law (O.C.G.A 48-5) specifies that the owner of the personal property (i.e., airplanes, business equipment/inventory, boats, watercraft) on January 1 of the tax year is responsible for the full year’s property tax regardless of subsequent sale, amount of usage or change of location. If the personal property was sold or relocated out of county prior to January 1, notification must be sent to the Tax Assessors’ office for removal from digest. The Tax Assessors’ Office will require proof of sale or relocation (i.e., bill of sale, paid tax receipt from current county, notarized affidavit attesting to location, etc.) before removing the account in Macon-Bibb County.
Disclaimer: At no time can any employee of the Whitfield County Tax Commissioner provide legal advice. If questions about processes or legal rights arise regarding property involved in a tax lien, levy, or tax sale, we recommend you seek professional advice.