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Taking the Sting Out of Property Taxes

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As far as summer fun goes, you probably think getting your property tax bill rates about the same as getting a sun burn. But, just as the summer and the vacations are going to have to come to their inevitable ends, the tax bill is coming.  Paying taxes is not a process that”s ever been accused of being fun, but if you keep a few things in mind, perhaps there”s a way to take a little of the sting out of it.

You should always get a tax bill if you own your property.  You can begin looking for your tax bill the first of August.  This applies even if you have a mortgage company that pays your taxes for you.  Mortgage companies have access to your tax information electronically.  They never get your actual tax bill – that has to go to you.

You will want to make sure you get your bill because a lot of good information is sent with it.  In addition to finding the actual tax amount and due date, you will see some ways you can save some money on future tax bills, such as filing a property tax return and applying for a homestead exemption.  There are also explanations for each item on the bill, and who to call if you have questions.

If you sold your property this year, you will still get a tax bill. This is because the person or entity that owned the property on January 1 is still responsible for paying the taxes that year.  Of course, as properties are sold, there are usually agreements in place about how the taxes will get paid, but what if they go unpaid anyway? The January 1 owner is on the hook for the taxes and could be subject to a tax lien. How do you get off the hook?  Send the Tax Commissioner proof that the property was transferred, as well as the documents that show that liability for the taxes was also transferred, by January 1, 2015.  Doing so will ensure that collection efforts are directed at the proper party.

Take advantage of the web. If you go to GwinnettTaxCommissioner.com, you will find tons of information that can help to answer your questions, and you can also pay your taxes.  The QR code on the front of your bill will get you there faster. Credit cards, debit cards and electronic checks are accepted online. A fee is charged for using a card, but e-checks are free.

You can also use the return envelope that comes with your bill to mail your check payment.  Or, you can visit any Tax Commissioner office, including the five tag offices, to pay in person by cash or check.

Property tax bills will be due in early October. And even though there”s a single due date, you may make as many payments as necessary as long as the balance is paid in full by the due date.

Call us or send us an email. If you are not able to find the answers to your questions, we are ready to help you in whatever way you need: 770-822-8800 or Tax@GwinnettCounty.com.

www.GwinnettTaxCommissioner.com