Our office bills, collects, and distributes ad valorem property taxes for:
We calculate the amount due for property tax statements based on the assessed property value, as determined by the Tax Assessors, and the millage rate, as set by the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education. In addition, our office is responsible for preparing the tax digest for submission to the state each year.
All revenue collected is distributed to the State of Georgia, Macon-Bibb County and the Board of Education.
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. 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 September 15. The first installment is due October 15 and the second installment is due November 15. 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 aircraft. The Tax Commissioner is responsible for billing the property owner of record as of January 1, or the current owner if we are made aware of a property transfer within 90 days of the due date.
Ad valorem tax is calculated using the following formula:
Here is an example calculation for a home with a fair market value of $100,000:
If the total millage rate is 38.824 which means property owners pay $38.824 per $1,000 of taxable value.
Millage Rates are announced yearly in late July/early 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 1987.
The overage amount, known as “excess funds”, from the tax sale of a property 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 either:
Macon-Bibb County Tax Commissioner’s Office
Attn: Kendall Countryman
P.O. Box 4724
Macon, Georgia 31208
The annual garbage bill for $300 was for service period of October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018. This bill was separate from the property tax bill. The due date was April 2, 2018.
The next garbage charge for $120 for the service period of January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019 was included on your 2018 property tax bill.
Garbage bills are now billed quarterly and will be due by the end of each quarter. Quarterly due dates are March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31.
All Residential Premises intended for occupancy, vacant or occupied, will be billed for garbage service. Service provided by the Solid Waste Department is mandatory.
If an owner appeals the value of their property, the garbage fee is due in full.
Property owned in whole by an individual whose income falls below the federal poverty guidelines can be exempt from garbage fees. This exemption must be applied for by submitting a completed application and all required documentation by 5:00 p.m. November 1 each year to the Solid Waste Department located at 327 Lower Poplar St.
No applications will be accepted after that date each year. Download an application or contact the Solid Waste Department to obtain one.
If a premises is destroyed by fire or other casualty, or demolished, or for some other reason no longer constitutes developed property, the owner must immediately notify the Solid Waste Director in writing. The Solid Waste Director, or his designee, will conduct an investigation, and if substantiated, inform the Tax Commissioner of any billing changes.
For garbage service issues, can requests, recycling questions, etc., contact the Solid Waste Department at:
Mobile home statements are mailed by January 30 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 percent of the tax due or $5.00, whichever is greater & 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 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:
It is ultimately the seller’s responsibility to ensure that the title has been changed into the new owner’s name and that the registration form has been completed. Failure to do so will result in billing to the last known owner of title. It is unlawful for any person to move or transport any mobile home which does not have attached & displayed the current year decal.
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 current owner as updated by the Tax Assessors’ Office at the time of billing. 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.
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. Prior to mailing annual tax statements in September each year, we request change of ownership information from the Tax Assessors’ Office and we send bills to the owner as indicated in the Tax Assessors’ records as of the date the file was obtained by our office. If the property owner information in the Tax Assessors’ office was not updated due to the transfer occurring close to the data file date or after billing, the owner as of January 1 will be billed. In such cases, if our office is notified within 90 days of the due date of who the current owner is, we will bill the current owner upon verifying the transfer. Although every effort is made to bill the current owner, 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.
Mortgage / Escrow
Our office mails tax statements to property owners, not to mortgage companies. We do send mortgage companies on record 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 - 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 Macon-Bibb 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.
If interested in purchasing a property at a tax sale, we strongly encourage you seek professional advice before participating in the sale.
Delinquent Tax - Prior to Tax Sale
All tax remaining unpaid after the due date is delinquent and subject to interest and penalties as mandated by state law.
If payment is late, the following interest and penalty will be added to the balance owed:
If remaining balance is not paid in full, a FiFa (tax lien) may be issued against the property and the owner of record as of January 1. For real property, if the owner on January 1 can provide proof of the transfer of ownership and transfer of tax liability within 90 days of the date of delinquency, the FiFa will be issued in the name of the owner as of the date of delinquency instead. Once a FiFa has been issued, the property is subject to levy and sale at a tax auction.
Once a property has been selected to go to tax sale, additional costs in the form of fees are added to the delinquent account for title research, advertising and other necessary actions.
A current tax sale list, if scheduled, can be found in Macon’s newspaper “The Telegraph”, Legal Advertisements section, every Tuesday for four weeks prior to the sale. If you are interested in purchasing a property with delinquent taxes that is not listed in our tax sale, please call 478-621-6500 and ask for the Levy Department.
The Macon-Bibb County Tax Commissioner follows legal procedures prescribed by the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) when levying property. We strongly suggest reading those sections of Georgia law which pertain to tax executions and tax sales. OCGA 48-3 and 48-4, contain important information regarding tax executions and tax sales.
Tax sales are held on the first Tuesday of each month (for months in which a tax sale is planned), at 11 AM on the steps of the Bibb County Courthouse located at 601 Mulberry St., Macon, GA 31201. Bidders or a representative must be present to bid. Mail, phone or faxed bids are not acceptable.
The opening bid for a property is the amount of tax due, plus penalties and all other applicable fees. A Sheriff’s Tax Deed, not the property, is sold to the highest bidder. Payment is due in full within two hours from the conclusion of the tax sale. Only cash, certified funds or money orders are accepted.
After the Sale
Though the tax sale purchaser receives a Sheriff’s tax deed for the property, possession of, improvements to, and/or eviction of any tenants on the property, are not allowed immediately according to Georgia law.
Georgia law allows the property owner or anyone with any right, title or interest in the property to repurchase (redeem) the Tax Deed from the tax sale purchaser. On non-judicial tax sales, the right of redemption cannot be foreclosed upon by the tax sale purchaser within a year after the tax sale date. Until the right of redemption has been foreclosed by the tax sale purchaser, a sheriff’s tax deed has about the same equivalence as a lien against the property.
When real property is sold at a tax sale, the owner, creditor or any person having an interest in the property may redeem the property from the holder of the tax deed within 12 months from the original tax sale date. The redemption price may include the purchaser’s bid amount, taxes paid by the purchaser after the tax sale, any special assessments on the property, plus a 20% premium. The tax sale purchaser is responsible for determining the amount payable for redemption. Redemption of the property puts the title conveyed by the tax sale back to the owner of record and is subject to all liens that existed at the time of the tax sale. Macon-Bibb County does not assist in the redemption or foreclosure process.
Notice of Foreclosure of Right to Redeem
After 12 months from the date of the tax sale, the purchaser at the tax sale may terminate or foreclose on the owner's right to redeem the property. To foreclose on the right of redemption, notice must be sent via certified mail to the owner of record and to all interest holders which appear on the public record. In addition, the notice of foreclosure is required to be published in the newspaper in the county in which the property is located once a week for four consecutive weeks.
Right of Redemption Foreclosed
After foreclosing the right of redemption, it is recommended that the purchaser seek legal advice regarding the petition to quiet title in land, pursuant to O.C.G.A.§ 23-3-60. Under the action, the petitioner (tax deed purchaser) makes a request to the court to take jurisdiction over the matter. The court then appoints a Special Master (third party) to examine the petition and exhibits to determine who is entitled to notice. The petitioner will then ask the court to issue a decree establishing his/her title in the land against "all the world" and that all "clouds to petitioner's title to the land be removed" and that said decree be recorded as provided by law.