Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Where is my exemption? Reading your tax bill

Decatur property owners should receive their first installment 2010 property tax bills in the mail today or tomorrow. The most common question we receive is whether or not you have the homestead exemption, and where it’s reflected on your bill.

If you have the homestead exemption, the taxable value of your home is reduced by $20,000 across three different “funds” on your tax bill as follows in this example:

If you see those $20,000 figures, you have the homestead exemption. If you have more exemptions because of age and income, those figures will be larger. If the exemptions column shows all zeroes, there is no exemption on your account.

For this installment, the basic homestead exemption reduces your tax bill by $115.95 (regardless of your assessed value).

Sticking with the example in the graphic, assume that the DeKalb County property appraisal department determined that the value of your home is $200,000. The City of Decatur applies a 50 percent assessment of $100,000. With the homestead exemption, your City of Decatur property tax bill for the first installment of 2010 would be $1,833.80. Without the homestead exemption, it would be $1,949.75.

For more information you can read the tax insert we sent with your bill or, as always, you can contact us directly for help.


  1. A few questions for you about exemptions, Russ:

    1) Which of the eight exemptions listed on the city website are actually city laws (vs. state laws)?

    2) How many people on average take advantage of each of those exemptions?

    3) How much of an impact do each of those exemptions have on the city's tax revenues?

  2. Thanks for that question, John. Let me pull that information together--I think addressing those points would be a great subject for a future post soon!