Property Tax Returns

Property tax returns are filed with the TAX ASSESSORS' OFFICE between January 1 and April 1 at 2782 Marietta Hwy, Canton, GA 30114, (678) 493-6120. To "file a property tax return" simply means to declare any taxable property you own. A real property tax return is not required if a properly completed PT61 Real Estate Transfer Tax form is filed with the Clerk of Superior Court and no subdivision or improvements were made to the property during the year of transfer.

If you feel your assessment is incorrect, you have the right to file a Taxpayers Return of Real Property between January 1 and April 1 declaring the amount you believe to be the Fair Market Value.

Real Property Real property consists of real estate and any improvements permanently affixed thereto, such as buildings.

Personal Property Personal property consists of:

  1. Any furniture, fixtures, machinery, equipment, inventory, etc., or any other personal property used in business;
  2. Aircraft and boats/motors owned by any individual or corporation.
Individuals, partnerships, corporations, etc. doing business or residing in Cherokee County must file a personal property return each year by April 1 with the Personal Property section of the Tax Assessors' Office. A 10% penalty is assessed for failure to file and late filing.

Specialized Assessments Certain classifications of tangible real property may qualify for preferential assessment provided they meet the criteria specified by Georgia law. The classifications are:

  1. Preferential Assessment
  2. Rehabilitated historic property
  3. Landmark historic property
  4. Residential transitional property
  5. Conservation use property
  6. Brownfield
  7. Forest Land
Call the Tax Assessors' Office at 678-493-6120 for further information.

Tax Exempt Property Certain types of property, (i.e. public property, churches, nonprofit hospitals, etc.) may be exempt from ad valorem taxation. Tax exempt status must be approved by the Board of Tax Assessors before tax liability will be removed. For additional information or to apply for exempt status, please contact the Tax Assessors' Office at (678) 493-6120 by April 1.

Tax Sales

Tax Levy Sale
Tax Levy sales are conducted by the Cherokee County Tax Commissioner for unpaid State, County, and school ad valorem taxes under the provisions of Title 48, Revenue and Taxation, Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A), Governing Tax Executions and Sales; And Title 9, O.C.G.A., governing Judicial Sales. 

Properties scheduled for sale are advertised in the Thursday edition of the Cherokee Tribune the legal section under Tax Commissioner Sale for four consecutive weeks prior to the sale. The Cherokee Tribune is also available online at www.cherokeetribune.com. The sales are conducted on the first Tuesday of the month immediately following the final week of advertising. They are held at 10:00 a.m. at the Cherokee County Courthouse at 90 North Street, Canton, GA 30114

The county does not guarantee title, and the purchaser has no use of the property, nor is entitled to any rent payments for at least one year under Georgia law. The doctrine of Caveat Emptor shall apply to all sales (meaning this is a “Buyer Beware” sale).

Successful Bidders
The successful bidder must be ready to pay the bid amount in CASH OR CERTIFIED FUNDS to the Tax Commissioners office (2780 Marietta Hwy, Canton) by 1:00 p.m. the day of sale. Tax Sales bids are binding in accordance with O.C.G.A. 9-13-170.
 
** For more information regarding Tax Sales please read over the Tax Sale Booklet on this website.**

The tax sale purchaser receives a tax deed to the property. However, they cannot take immediate possession of the property, make any improvements to the property, evict any tenants or move onto the property. Georgia law allows the property owner or anyone with any right, title or interest in the property to repurchase (redeem) the Tax Deed. Until the right of redemption has been foreclosed or the title has ripened by prescription, a tax deed has the same force and effect as a lien.

Right of Redemption

When real property is sold at a tax sale, the owner, creditor or any person having an interest in the property may redeem (repurchase) the property from the holder of the tax deed within 12 months.

The redemption price is the bid amount, plus any taxes paid by the purchaser after the tax sale, plus any special assessments on the property, plus a 20% premium of the amount for the first year or fraction of a year which has elapsed since the date of sale and a 10% premium for each additional year or fraction of a year thereafter plus the sheriff and advertisement costs. 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 subject to all liens that existed at the time of the tax sale. 

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 by causing a notice(s) of the foreclosure to be served by 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 to be published in the newspaper in the county in which the property is located once a week for four consecutive weeks.

Important Info For Sellers

Georgia Property taxes are based on the ownership of property as of January 1 of each year. If you sold the property on or after January 1 of this year you will need to fax a copy of your final settlement agreement to (678) 493-6423, this will allow us to change the bill to the new owners name. If pro-ration of taxes has been made, it is in your best interest to forward the tax bill to the new owner and contact the Tax Commissioner’s Office to insure that the buyer has paid the taxes by the due date as agreed.

City Taxes

The Tax Commissioner of Cherokee County is responsible for collecting City taxes for Ball Ground, Canton and Nelson. The Tax Commissioner of Cherokee County is not responsible for all other city entities, please contact their office for information.

City of Ball Ground
215 Valley St.
Ball Ground, GA 30107
(770)735-2123

City of Canton
110 Academy St.
Canton, Ga. 30114
(770)704-1500

City of Holly Springs
3237 Holly Springs Pkwy
Holly Springs, GA 30115
(770)345-5536

City of Mountain Park
118 Lakeshore Drive
Mt. Park, GA 30075
(770)993-4231

City of Nelson
1985 Kennesaw Avenue
Nelson, Ga 30151
(770)735-2211

City of Waleska
8976 Fincher Drive
Waleska, GA 30183
(770)479-2912

City of Woodstock
12453 Hwy 92
Woodstock, GA 30188
(770)926-8852

Important Info For Buyers

It is important for you to understand, as a new property owner you will NOT receive a property tax bill on the property you just purchased this year, until you or the seller submits a settlement statement to our office. Georgia law requires the Tax Office to bill the owner of property as of January 1st of each year. However if you or the seller faxes a copy of the closing settlement to 678-493-6423, we will be able to change the bill into the correct owners name, if purchased before 11/15 of the tax year in question.

Cherokee County tax bills are scheduled to be mailed in September and due in November. When the seller receives the tax bill, on occasion he will forward the bill to the new owner. To protect your interest in this property it is important to note, if you have not received a tax bill by October 1st to contact the Tax Commissioner’s Office at (678) 493-6400 and request a copy of the bill or print a copy off of the web site, please remember to fax a copy of the settlement statement to our office to have the bill changed out of your name and into the new owners name. Although the tax bill will be in the name of the former owner, the law states that when taxes become delinquent a tax lien is placed against the property.

Please note: There is no provision in the law for the tax office to prorate taxes based on partial-year ownership of property. Any pro-ration of taxes must be made between the buyer and seller at the time of transfer of propert

Excess Funds

Following a tax sale, any overage of funds, known as “excess funds”, is placed in a separate account. Per O.C.G.A. 48-4-5, excess funds may be claimed by the record owner of the property at the time of the tax sale, by the record owner of each security deed affecting the property, and by any other party having any recorded equity interest or claim in such property at the time of the sale. A claim may be filed at any time after the sale until the funds are awarded.
Claims are not accepted from third parties, except in the case of an attorney who is legally representing the claimant in the matter. The Tax Commissioner’s office does not recognize a legal relationship of “representation” by an asset recovery firm, nor by an individual who has been granted Power of Attorney.

Payment of excess funds will be made and sent only to the record owner of the property, or to the other parties having a lien holder interest at the time of the tax sale.

Please note that you are not required to pay, or be represented by, any third party in order to claim excess funds.

Click here for a list of excess fund properties. This list is updated as claims are paid out and/or as tax sales occur.

Click here for excess funds claim form - possible items needed to file a claim: Claim form, copy of driver's license, filed lien documents, amount owed on lien, lien release, title opinion and a indemnification agreement.

In cases where the excess funds are claimed by one or more parties or in other circumstances as deemed necessary by the Tax Commissioner, the policy of The Cherokee County Tax Commissioner’s office is to file a civil interpleader action with the Superior Court of Cherokee County seeking a distribution order from the Court pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 48-4-5(b) and other applicable law. In that event, excess funds will be deposited in the court’s registry for distribution as determined by the Court.

Tax Bills/Due Dates/Refunds

Tax Bills and Payments Property tax bills are mailed out in early September of each year and payment is due November 15th. Taxes not paid by November 15th are considered delinquent and will incur interest at the rate prescribed by law per month on any portion unpaid. At 90 days delinquent a Fi.Fa. (tax lien) fee of $22.50 (on bills less than $100.00) or $32.50 ( on bills more than $100.00) There is also a 5% penalty every 120 days to max out at 20%, figured on the remaining balance still due.

If you have not received a tax bill by October 1st or if you are a new property owner and cannot obtain a tax bill from the previous owner, please call our office at (678) 493-6400.

Checks should be made payable to Cherokee County Tax Commissioner. Mail payments to:

2780 Marietta Hwy
Canton, GA 30114

The county tax records must, by law, reflect the owner of record as of January 1 of the taxable year. The taxable year is defined as January 1 through December 31. If you purchased the property after January 1, a property tax return (to declare taxable property you own) should be filed with the Tax Assessors' Office between January 1 and April 1 of the following year. A properly completed PT-61 Real Estate Transfer Declaration form filed with the Clerk of Superior Court may serve as a property tax return if the property has not been subdivided, changed or improved and the transfer tax has been paid. The preceding year's final valuation will be considered as your returned value unless a new return is filed with the Tax Assessors.

Mortgage Company Billing Information Usually escrow accounts are set up by mortgage companies for payment of property taxes. Please note Cherokee County only mails a copy of the tax bill to the homeowner (as of January 1). Typically your mortgage company will use a third party company to obtain a copy of your tax bill, however, if your mortgage company has recently changed or if you are a new homeowner, you should send a copy of the tax bill to the mortgage company. The homeowner is still responsible for making sure taxes are paid by the due date.

Refunds Refunds are mailed approximately 14 business days after payments are posted. Overpayments are issued to the party who made the most recent payment. Overpayments received from a tax service will be returned to the tax service for processing, rather than the mortgage companies they are servicing.

Exemptions

For questions regarding EXEMPTIONS you will need to contact the Tax Assessors Office at 678-493-6120 or click here for their web site:

Tax Assessors's Office

Clicking the link below will take you to the exemption listing on the Tax Assessor's website:

Exemption Listing

Delinquent Taxes

What if my payment is late? If your payment is late, the following interest and penalty will be added to the balance you owe:
  • Interest will be accrued at the rate prescribed by law month that a balance remains
  • Five percent penalty will be added to any remaining balance every 120 days until reaching the max of 20%
What if I cannot pay in full by the due date? The Tax Commissioner’s office does accept partial payments, and taxpayers are welcome to make as many payments as needed to pay off the balance; however, penalties and interest continue to accrue on the outstanding balance. Any account with an outstanding balance will be subject to a lien; therefore, the Tax Commissioner’s office encourages full payment of any outstanding balance as soon as possible. Any taxes remaining unpaid at this time are subject to levy and tax sale. The Cherokee County Tax Commissioner's Office follows legal procedures prescribed by the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) when levying property. We strongly suggest you read those sections of Georgia law which pertain to tax executions and tax sales. OCGA Title 48 - Revenue and Taxation, Chapter 3 - "Tax Executions," and Chapter 4 - "Tax Sales," contain important information that you must be aware of.

What is a lien? What are the consequences of a lien? A lien, also known as a Fi.Fa., is defined as 'a claim, encumbrance, or charge on a taxpayer’s property to obtain payment of overdue taxes' (Georgia Department of Revenue).

Prior to the issuance of a Fi.Fa., you will receive a 30-day notice of intent. This letter will warn you of a possible Fi.Fa., and will allow you to pay the account in full within 30 days.

Fi.Fa.s are recorded on the General Execution Docket of the Clerk of the Superior Court and remain in effect for seven years. A Fi.Fa. may appear on credit reports and adversely affect your credit rating. The Tax Commissioner encourages full payment of taxes by the due date.

If I have a Fi.Fa. (lien), how do I get it cancelled? Payment of outstanding taxes along with applicable fees, penalties and interest will serve to cancel the Fi.Fa.

Can I purchase Fi.Fa.s 'over the counter'? No. The transferring of tax executions (liens) is at the discretion of the Tax Commissioner. The Tax Commissioner will no longer transfer tax liens in bulk to any third-party investor as a general means of collecting delinquent taxes.

When is your next tax sale? If a tax sale is scheduled, an auction of the property is conducted in front of the Cherokee County Justice Center on the first Tuesday of the month. When scheduled, it will be advertised in the Cherokee Tribune for four consecutive Thursdays prior to the sale and will be posted in the legal section.

Mobile Homes

Mobile home bills are mailed in January of each year and are due on or before April 1.

All mobile homes in Cherokee County are required to have a current decal visibly posted by April 1st of each year. These decals are issued upon receipt of tax payment. If you pay in person, your decal will be issued immediately. If you choose another method of payment, your decal will be mailed to you when payment is received.

Registering a mobile home in Cherokee County
Need to register a Mobile Home to Cherokee County? This Link will provide the Manufactered housing permit guide from the Cherokee County Developmental Services office.

Cherokee County's Manufactured Housing information can be found here.

For additional questions and information, please call the Development Service Center at (770) 721-7810.

Purchasing a Mobile Home
If you just purchased or transferred ownership of a mobile home, you must apply for a title to the home in you name within 30 days of purchase.

You must provide a current paid tax receipt and proof of ownership before your title application will be processed.

If there is a lien on the mobile home, most lien holders will apply for the new title.

Millage Rates

2021 Millage Rates

State      0.000

County M&O      5.212

School M&O     18.200

School Bond       1.250

Fire                 3.292

Park Bond         0.434

Unincorporated     28.388

 

2020 Millage Rates

County M&O      5.212

School M&O     18.450

School Bond       1.00

Fire                 3.292

Park Bond         .461

Unincorporated     28.415

 

2019 Millage Rates

County M&O      5.216

School M&O      18.450

School Bond         1.00

Fire                    3.269

Park Bond             .480

Unincorporated   28.415

 

2018 Millage Rates

County M&O                  5.366

School M&O                 18.950

School Bond                    .500

Fire                               3.269

Park Bond                        .503

Unincorporated               28.588

 

2017 Millage Rates

County M&O                     5.483

 School M&O                  18.950

School Bond                      .500

Fire                                  3.298

Park Bond                         .581

Unincorporated              28.812

 

2016 Millage Rates

State                                   .000

County M&O                     5.680

School M&O                    19.450

Fire                                     3.374

Park Bond                            .609

Unincorporated                  29.113

 

2015 Millage Rates

State                                  .050

County M&O                    5.720

Fire                                   3.436

Park Bond                          .744

School M&O                   19.450

Unincorporated               29.400

Incorporated                    25.964

 

2014 Millage Rates

State                                 .100

County M&O                    5.728

Fire                                   3.436

Park Bond                           .744

School M&O                     19.450

Unincorporated                 29.458

Incorporated                      26.002

 

2013 Millage Rates     

State                                 .150

County M&O                   5.798

Fire                                 3.373

Park Bond                        .776

School M&O                 19.450

School Bond                     .400

Unincorporated             29.947

Incorporated                 26.574

 

     2012 Millage Rates

State                                 .200

County M&O                   5.825

Fire                                 3.394

Park Bond                         .780

School M&O                  19.450

School Bond                      .400

Unincorporated              30.049

Incorporated                   26.665

 

     2011 Millage Rates

State                                  .250

County M&O                    5.365

Fire                                  3.129

Park Bond                         .641

School M&O                  19.450

School Bond                      .400

Unincorporated              29.235

Incorporated                   26.106

 

       2010 Millage Rates

State                                   .250

County M&O                     4.720

Fire                                    2.950

Park Bond                           .628

School M&O                    19.450

School Bond                        .400

Unincorporated                28.398

Incorporated                    25.448

Return Check Policy (TAXES)

Note: Once a return check has been received, all future payments will be required to be paid with cash or certified funds.
Your tax bill will be reopened and any interest and penalties will be added to the amount in addition to the $30.00 or 5 percent of the face amount of the check, whichever is greater for the returned check fee.

If the restitution on the return check is not paid by the time allotted it will be turned over to The Magistrate’s Office for the issuance of a warrant.