How is my property value determined?
Fair Market Value
Appraisal Procedures
Special Programs
Personal Property
Homestead exemptions
How can I appeal my assessment?
Appeals Process
How is the tax figured?








How is my property value determined?

Property tax is an ad valorem tax based upon the value of property, both real and personal. Real property is defined as land and generally anything that is erected, growing, or affixed to the land. Personal property is boats, airplanes, business inventory, and any equipment, furniture, and fixtures needed to run a business.

Property taxes are charged against the owner of the property of January 1st, and against the property itself if the owner is not known. Property tax returns are to be filed between January 1st and April 1st with the county tax assessor's office.

Fair Market Value

The Assessors are charged with establishing the fair market value of the taxable real and personal properties in Upson County. Fair market value means the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm's length bona fide sale.

Assessors and appraiser interpret what is happening in the market place. The appraised value is simply the estimate of what the property is worth.

Appraisal Procedures

The Assessors use standard approaches in setting the value on all real and personal property. The three approaches to value are cost, market, and income.

     Cost Approach: The cost approach uses actural replacement cost of the building, less general depreciation, plus the value of the land.

     Market Approach: The market approach involves analyzing sales of similar properties to predict the likely selling price of unsold propertites.

     Income Approach: The income approach is used for income-producing properties. It involves capitalizing the net income to arrive at a probable selling price for the property.

Special Programs
You may be eligible for conservation use of preferential assessment exemption if you are in good faith agricultural production. This would include; producing plants, trees, fowl or animals, or the production of aquaculture, horticulture, floriculture, forestry, dairy, livestock, poultry and apiarian products.

Conservation Use Property is assessed at its current use value rather than the fair market value. Property that qualifies for this special assessment must be maintained in a current use for a period of ten years.

Preferential Agricultural Property is assessed at 75 percent of the assessment of other property. This means that this type of property is assessed at 30 percent of fair market value rather than 40 percent. Property that qualifies for this special assessment must be maintained in its current use for a period of ten years.

Residential Transitional Property is in an area that is in a transition from residential to commercial use, and it is affecting the value of the property. The owner may apply for a residential transitional assessment covenant. This is also a ten-year covenant.

Timber is not taxed until sold or harvested, at which time it is taxed based upon 100 percent of its fair market value. The three types of sales and harvests that are taxable are lump sum sales, unit price sales, and owner harvests.

     Lump sum sales occur when the timber is sold at a specific price regardless of volume.      Unit price sales occur when the timber is sold or harvested based on a specific price per volume.      Owner harvests occur when a land owner harvest his own timber and sells it by volume.

Personal Property: Equipment, Machinery, and Fixtures are assessed at 40 percent of fair market value. The assessor may value the equipment, machinery, and fixtures of a going business to reflect the fair market value of the business as a whole. When no ready market exists for the sale of equipment, machinery, and fixtures, a fair market value may be determined by resorting to any reasonable, relevant, and useful information available. This information may include, but is not limited to, the original cost of the property, less any depreciation or obsolescence plus any increase in value by reason of inflation. Other determining factors include existing zoning of the property, existing use, existing covenants or restrictions in deed dedicating the property to a particular use, and any other important factors. The assessors have access to any public records in order to discover such information.

Homestead exemptions are allowed to qualified applicants who own the residence and live in it on January 1st. At age 62, a qualified homeowner may apply for the allowed exemption on the school portion of the tax bill, depending on income requirements. At age 65, a qualified homeowner may apply for additional exemption on the state and county portion of the tax bill, depending on income requirements. A Disabled Veteran exemption is allowed when the qualified homeowner has documentation declaring a total service-related disability by the Veterans Administration, and is receiving 100 percent disability benefits. A Surviving Spouse exemption is allowed to a qualified homeowner who is the unmarried spouse of a veteran deceased as a result of war or armed conflict, and is receiving survivor benefits. In Upson County, a Disabled Person exemption is allowed to a qualified homeowner who provides letters from two physicians stating total disability, and depending on income requirements.

Once you have applied for an exemption, you do not need to reapply unless you move to another location, or become eligible for increased exemptions.

Further information about all the exemptions on this page is available by contacting the Upson County Assessors Office. Mail: Post Office Box 508, Thomaston, Georgia 30286 Phone: 706-647-8176 Fax: 706-647-7818 Email: Website

How can I appeal my assessment?
After the assessors establish a new value on a piece of property, the property owner is sent an assessment notice. The notice informs you of the new proposed valuation of your property. You have 45 days to appeal the new valuation if you feel it is incorrect. The appeal must be filed in writing. Late appeals are invalid.

After you have given careful consideration to the value placed on your property and if you feel it is incorrect, your appeal should be based on taxability, uniformity, or value.
     Taxability: Should the property should be taxed or given an exempt status? Your appeal should have documentation to prove exemption from ad valorem taxes.
     Uniformity: Does the property value compare with the value of similar properties? Your appeal should show where any inequity exists. Similar property means about the same tract size of land. Improvement comparisons should have about the same size, condition, age, and features.
     Value: Is the value too high or too low? Your appeal should provide your opinion of value and any documentation to support your opinion.

Appeals Process
When you file an appeal, the Board of Assessors reviews it and determines whether a change in the valuation is warranted. If a change is made, either the property owner's value is accepted, or a new value is sent with 21 days to appeal the new value. If no change is made, it will then go to the next level of appeal, the Board of Equalization.

The Board of Equalization is an independent three-person board appointed by the Upson County Grand Jury. Its specific function is to hear unresolved appeals from property owners. After hearing both the assessors and the property owner's position, the Board of Equalization renders a decision on the valuation.

If either side disagrees with the decision of the Board of Equalization, the appeal may proceed anew to the next level of appeal, Upson County Superior Court.

How is the tax figured?
The current millage rate, 24.08, was established in 2004. This means $24.08 per $1,000 of assessed value in Upson County.

The millage rate for 2005 will be set around mid-October. The tax rate, or millage, is set annually by the Upson County Board of Commissioners, the Thomaston City Council, and the Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of $1 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The assessed value-40 percent of the fair market value-of a house that is worth $100,000 is $40,000. In a county where the millage rate is 25 mills the property tax on that house would be $1,000; $25 for every $1,000 of assessed value, or $25 multiplied by 40 is $1,000.

$100,000 X 40% = $40,000 X .025 = $1,000
fair market       assessed
  millage   taxes