Several distinct entities are involved in the ad valorem tax process.
County Tax Commissioner Responsibilities
The county tax commissioner is an officer established by the Constitution and elected in all counties (except one). The official’s responsibilities include:
Receiving tax returns filed by taxpayers or designating the Board of Assessors to receive them
Receiving and processing applications for homestead exemptions or designating the Board of Assessors to receive and process them
Serving as agent of the state revenue commissioner for the registration of motor vehicles
Performing all functions relating to billing, collecting, disbursing, and accounting for ad valorem taxes collected in the county
Board of Assessors Responsibilities
The Board of Assessors, appointed for fixed terms by the county commissioners, are responsible for:
Approving all exemptions claimed by the taxpayer
Ensuring that the appeal process proceeds properly
Maintaining appraisal, assessment, and the equalization of all assessments within the county
Notifying taxpayers when changes are made to the value of property
Receiving and reviewing all appeals filed
Board of Equalization Responsibilities
The Board of Equalization, appointed by the Grand Jury, is the body charged by law with hearing and adjudicating administrative appeals to property values and assessments made by the Board of Assessors. (Note: An arbitration method of appeal is an available option to the taxpayer in lieu of an appeal to the Board of Equalization at the time the appeal is filed.)
Board of County Commissioners Responsibilities
The Board of County Commissioners, an elected body, establishes the budget for county government operations each year, and then they levy the mill rate necessary to fund the portion of the budget to be paid for by ad valorem tax.
Board of Education Responsibilities
The Board of Education, an elected body, establishes the annual budget for school purposes, and they then recommend their mill rate, which, with very few exceptions, must be levied for the school board by the county commissioners.
State Revenue Commissioner Responsibilities The State Revenue Commissioner exercises general oversight of the entire ad valorem tax process. In addition, the State of Georgia levies ad valorem tax each in the amount which can not exceed one-fourth of one mill (0.00010).