Catoosa County Administration Building

Homestead and household income tax exemptions can be applied for at the Catoosa County Tax Office in the county’s administration building at 800 LaFayette St. in Ringgold.

Catoosa County Commission Chairman Steven Henry says he’s concerned that many county residents who could save money on their property tax this year still have not filed.

“It’s a good opportunity for people who qualify to save money,” says Henry.

“The Catoosa County Board of Education and the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners have worked together to create a new homestead exemption to benefit the county’s lower-income elderly citizens,” the Catoosa County Public Schools website announced in October 2019. “The new exemption will reduce the Catoosa County School District ad valorem taxes for residents who are 65 years or over and whose income does not exceed $30,000 per year. Residents who meet this criteria will see a $40,000 reduction in the assessed value of their home, which will reduce or eliminate their school property taxes.”

Catoosa County Tax Commissioner Gary Autry says eligible homeowners have until April 1 to apply. His office has outlined the following guidelines and steps to apply for the “Household Income Exemption.”

♦ The homeowner must be at least 65 years old.

♦ The household annual income must not exceed $30,000.

♦ Proof of income must be shown — either “federal adjusted gross income” from a 1040 tax return, or official statements of Social Security income and/or any other income.

♦ The exemption expires at the end of each year and must be applied for again the following year.

♦ The homeowner must own the property on January 1 of each year for which the exemption is requested.

♦ For mobile homes, the applicant must own the home and the land on which it sits.

♦ The applicant must live on the property that he/she wishes to qualify for the exemption and it must be the homeowner’s permanent and legal residence.

♦ The application period is between January 1 and April 1 of the tax year.

♦ Other homestead exemptions may also be available, including from the city of Fort Oglethorpe, which should be filed along with the household income exemption.

♦ All exemptions must be applied for in the Tax Commissioner’s Office.

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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