Property owners each fall participate in the annual ritual of paying property taxes. For some age 65 or older, and for some with total disability or those who are totally disabled veterans, they opt to take an exemption for half, or in some cases all, of taxes that go to the school system. Today, there are more than 11,088 people in Fayette County taking one of those exemptions.
One of the variables that comes into play when paying the annual property tax bill, the one that affects only the school system, are exemptions on school system taxes based on age, disability, and income. Currently, at 19.25 mills, the school system share of the tax bill represents far and away the majority of property taxes paid.
In total across Fayette, there are 11,000 people taking either a 50 percent exemption or a 100 percent exemption on the school system portion of the tax bill.
A 50 percent exemption for school tax is available to those age 65 and older, with the property owner required to be at least 65 years of age on Jan. 1 of the tax year.
A 100 percent exemption for school tax is available for those age 65 or older and with a Georgia taxable income of less than $15,000. Georgia taxable income does not include Social Security income or pensions.
The current number of people taking the school tax exemption by category are:
• 50 percent exempt because of age – 4,201
• 100 percent exempt because of age and income – 5,887
• 50 percent exempt because of total disability – 176
• 100 percent exempt because of total disability and income – 551
• 50 percent exempt totally disabled veteran – 74
• 100 percent exempt totally disabled veteran and income – 199
The Fayette CountyTax Commissioner’s Office, at 770-461-3652, has complete information on the exemption criteria.
It is no mystery that Fayette County population is aging significantly faster than most others in metro Atlanta, and significantly faster than in Georgia’s 10 most affluent counties.
Estimated figures for 2018 from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that 18.2 percent of Fayette’s population of 113,459 were age 65 or older.
A demographic study performed last year for the Fayette County Board of Education showed that, by 2025, approximately 34 percent of the county’s population will be age 60 or older.