Property Tax Incentives:
Current Use Programs:
Georgia does have a current use statute for agriculture, timber and environmentally sensitive lands.
Statute: § Ga. Code Ann., § 48-5-7.1 § 48-5-7.1. § 48-5-7.4.. § 391-3-18-.01 e
Method of Assessment: Formula based on productivity capacity and income for agriculture, timber, and environmentally sensitive value.
Application: Landowner has initial burden.
Plan Requirements: The owner must also agree by covenant with the appropriate taxing authorities to maintain the property in bona fide qualifying use for a ten-year period, and the property must be so maintained. If this is done, the property then qualifies for a "current use assessment" computed in accordance with a table of values established by the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue under OCGA § 48-5-269. The property is assessed for property tax purposes at 40 percent of its current use value rather than fair market value.
Penalties: Landowners must pay back to the taxing authorities twice the savings they have received over the life of the covenant up to the point it was breached.
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Current Use Taxation for open-space land:
Georgia has current use taxation to promote open space or recreation.
Statute: Ga. Code Ann. § 48-5-7.4. Current use valuation and taxation of bona fide conservation use property and bona fide residential transitional property.
Purpose of Assessment: Tax fairness and environmental concerns. Ga. Code Ann. § 48-5-1.
Method of Assessment: Current use.
Application: Landowner has initial burden to file application along with the required covenant agreement for conservation use qualification. Ga. Code Ann. § 48-5-7.4(j).
Renewal: Automatic until landowner applies for release of current use treatment whenever the property ceases to be eligible for current use assessment or when any ten-year covenant period expires and the property does not qualify for further current use assessment. Ga. Code Ann. § 48-5-7.4(w).
Area Requirements: No minimum acreage requirement. Maximum 2,000 acres. Parcels of land that total less than ten acres will be required by the county tax assessor to submit additional relevant records to prove bona fide conservation use.
Plan Requirements: Bona fide conservation use property is either ,(1) property with the primary purpose of good faith production, including but not limited to subsistence farming or commercial production, from or on the land of agricultural products or timber or, (2) environmentally sensitive property. However, the statute only requires that one-half of the property be used for a bona fide conservation use, and the other half may be used for hunting or fishing and the property will still qualify. Also, landowners must sign a 10-year covenant with the county.
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Tax incentive specifically for providing access:
Georgia has no tax incentive to provide hunter access.
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Tax Incentive when land is subject to Conservation Easement:
Statute: Ga. Code Ann. § 44-10-8. Recordation of easements; revaluation of encumbered property; appeals.
Valuation: Conservation easement and shall entitle the owner to a revaluation of the encumbered real property so as to reflect the existence of the encumbrance on the next succeeding tax digest of the county.
Process: A conservation easement may be recorded in the office of the clerk of the superior court of the county where the land is located. Such recording shall be notice to the board of tax assessors of such county of the conveyance. Any owner who records a conservation easement and who is aggrieved by a revaluation or lack thereof under this Code section may appeal to the board of equalization and may appeal from the decision of the court.
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Statute: Ga. Code Ann. § 48-7-29.12. Credit for donation of real property for conservation purposes
Program: State income tax credit for landowners that donate land for open space or recreation, including hunting. The donation must be approved by the state Department of Natural Resources. Corporate donations may not exceed $500,000 or 25% of the appraised fair market value. Individuals may not exceed $250,000 or 25% of the appraised fair market value. The credit may carry over for 10 years until it is terminated. The credit is not transferable. Only one credit per parcel can be made in a given year. The credit does not apply to those who want to preserve or develop any land or anything having to do with golf. There is a penalty for collusive appraisers that overvalue (150% of the fair market value) the property.
Tax: 1% to 7% (depending on income)
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Hunter Access Program:
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