Welcome to The Whitfield County Tax Commissioner Website





In an effort to better serve the taxpayers of Whitfield County, GA, we are offering some of our services through the implementation of this website. We are pleased to offer convenient online payment of your property taxes. Our website also provides access to the public information that can be obtained through our office. This site will also feature information on the latest legislative issues affecting this office and the regulations of the Georgia Department of Revenue, under which we operate. My staff and I thank you for the opportunity to serve our citizens and we look forward to serving you in the future.



Property

Our office bills, collects, and distributes ad valorem property taxes for:

  • Real property
  • Personal property (boats, planes, equipment, and inventory)
  • Heavy duty equipment
  • Mobile homes
  • Public utilities
  • Timber

We calculate the amount due for property tax statements based on the assessed property value, as determined by the Tax Assessors, and the millage rate, as set by the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education. In addition, our office is responsible for preparing the tax digest for submission to the state each year.

All revenue collected is distributed to the State of Georgia, Whitfield County, Boards of Education for Whitfield County and Dalton Public Schools, and the Cities of Dalton, Varnell, Tunnel Hill, and Cohutta.


CALCULATING TAX | MILLAGE RATES

Property tax is the primary source of revenue for local governments. Property tax is an ad valorem tax. Ad valorem means "according to value."

The Board of Commissioners is responsible for setting the county budget using the property tax assessments as determined by the Tax Assessors (https://whitfieldassessor.com/). After setting the budget, they determine the millage rate which must be sufficient to cover the portion of the county budget that is funded by property tax.

Real and personal property tax statements are mailed by October 20 and are due on December 20 of each year. If these dates fall on the weekend, they shift to the next business day. Real property consists of land as well as anything erected, growing or affixed to the land. Personal property includes furniture and fixtures, machinery & equipment and inventory in a business. For individuals, personal property includes boats and motors as well as aircrafts. The Tax Commissioner is responsible for billing the property owner of record as of January 1.

Ad valorem tax is calculated using the following formula:

  • Fair Market Value x 40% - Exemptions = Taxable Value
  • Taxable Value x Millage Rate = Tax Due

Here is an example calculation for a home with a fair market value of $100,000:

  1. The fair market value is determined by the Tax Assessors (https://whitfieldassessor.com/).
  2. Whitfield County taxes at an assessment rate of 40% of its full fair market value.
    $100,000 x 40% = $40,000 (taxable value before exemptions)
  3. Exemptions, such as a homestead exemption, reduce the taxable value of your property.
  4. The taxable value is then multiplied by the millage rate which is set by the Board of Commissioners.
    1 mill = $1 tax per $1,000 taxable value.
The total millage rate is 39.145 which means property owners pay $39.145 per $1,000 of taxable value.

  • $33,000 x (39.145/1,000) = $1,291.79 tax due
    OR
  • $33,000 x .039145 = $1,291.79 tax due
Millage Rates are announced yearly in late July/early August when the local taxing authorities (Board of Commissioners and Board of Education) approve them. Please click HERE to see the approved millage rates since 1987.


EXCESS FUNDS

The overage amount from the tax sale of a property, known as “excess funds”, in which the final bid is greater than the amount due for taxes, accrued costs and all expenses of the tax sale. The excess funds is held in escrow by the Tax Commissioner’s Office. Anyone who has a legal interest in the property prior to the time of the tax sale (such as a mortgage company or anyone who holds a duly recorded lien against the owner of the property) may file a claim for the excess funds, in addition to the property owner, with the Tax Commissioner’s office.

Excess funds are available for distribution to the entitled parties in the order of priority in which their interest exists. Excess funds are subject to priority claim by the mortgagee or security interest holder. The record owner of the property at the time of tax sale may claim the overage only if the property is not encumbered by a mortgage and/or lien, or if there are funds remaining after the mortgagee and/or lien holder has satisfied their secure claim(s).

If competing claims for the excess funds are presented, or uncertainties or doubts of entitlement arise, an interpleader action may be filed in Superior Court for determination as to proper distribution. Claims by lien holders must include a current payoff statement. Rights to excess funds are controlled and established by state law which determines the priority of liens and which ones get paid first.

The time it takes to review the claim varies and is dependent upon the number of claims received, as well as the documentation included with the claim form. Failure of a claimant to file for excess funds does not eliminate their rights to said funds.

All claimants should request an Excess Funds Claim Form by email to wctco@whitfieldcountyga.com or by mail to: Whitfield County Tax Commissioner’s Office, Attn: Excess Funds, 205 N. Selvidge St. Ste. J, Dalton GA 30720.



MOBILE HOMES

Mobile home statements are mailed by January 15 of each year and are due by April 1. All mobile homes are required to have a current year decal visibly posted. These decals are issued upon receipt of tax payment.

If paid in person, the decal will be issued immediately. If another method of payment is chosen, the decal will be mailed when payment is received.

If mobile home tax is paid after the due date, a state mandated penalty of 10% of the tax due & monthly interest is assessed on the unpaid balance. Failure to obtain and properly display a current year mobile home decal will result in a lien being placed on the mobile home and may be subject to sale.

Mobile home owners who disagree with the Board of Tax Assessors’ value of their mobile home must file an appeal with the Tax Assessors’ Office or online (https://whitfieldassessor.com/) within 45 days of the mailing of their tax bill or April 1st, whichever occurs later.

Purchased/Sold a Mobile Home
When purchasing or transferring the ownership of a mobile home, the new owner must apply for a title within 30 days of purchase. A current tax paid receipt must be provided before the title application will be processed.

Steps to follow after purchase:

  • Have the previous owner sign the back of the title and give the title to you.
  • Find the mobile home on the View/Pay Your Taxes page to see if the taxes are paid. If tax is due, pay it.
  • Visit the Whitfield County Tax Commissioner’s office with the title and tax receipt and have the title changed into your name within 30 days of purchase.

It is ultimately the seller’s responsibility to ensure that the title has been changed into the new owner’s name and that the registration form has been completed. Failure to do so will result in billing to the last known owner of title. It is unlawful for any person to move or transport any mobile home which does not have attached & displayed the current year decal.


REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY

Ownership Information
All property owner information is updated by the Tax Assessors’ Office. The Tax Assessors use deed information recorded in the Superior Court Clerk’s Office to update tax records for all real property. Tax statements are mailed to the owner as of January 1. For questions regarding the ownership record or how to update owner information (i.e. mailing address, contact information, etc.), please contact the Tax Assessors’ Office at 478.621.6701 or online (https://whitfieldassessor.com/).

Mortgage / Escrow
Our office mails tax statements to property owners, not to mortgage companies. We do send mortgage companies a data file that contains the property information and the tax amount due. It is the mortgage company’s responsibility to use the data file to pay the accounts of their customers that are in escrow. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner to ensure taxes are paid. For questions regarding the role of individual mortgage companies in paying the tax, contact the company directly, especially if the mortgage company has recently changed.

Ownership Changes - Real Property
If property was sold during the year, the tax digest will reflect the owner of record’s name as of January 1 of the tax year per Georgia Tax Code. If the property ownership changed after January 1, if our office is notified within 90 days of the due date of who the current owner is and a closing statement is provided, we will bill the current owner upon verifying the transfer. The Tax Commissioner is not responsible for determining a property owner’s payment obligation. The property owner is responsible for paying the taxes when due.

Ownership Changes - Personal Property (Business Inventory/Equipment, Boats, Aircraft)
Georgia Tax Law (O.C.G.A 48-5) specifies that the owner of the personal property (i.e., airplanes, business equipment/inventory, boats, watercraft) on January 1 of the tax year is responsible for the full year’s property tax regardless of subsequent sale, amount of usage or change of location. If the personal property was sold or relocated out of county prior to January 1, notification must be sent to the Tax Assessors’ office for removal from digest. The Tax Assessors’ Office will require proof of sale or relocation (i.e., bill of sale, paid tax receipt from current county, notarized affidavit attesting to location, etc.) before removing the account in Macon-Bibb County.


TAX SALE | DELINQUENT TAX

Disclaimer: At no time can any employee of the Whitfield County Tax Commissioner provide legal advice. If questions about processes or legal rights arise regarding property involved in a tax lien, levy, or tax sale, we recommend you seek professional advice.

If interested in purchasing a property at a tax sale, we will provide a packet of information to you, however we strongly encourage you seek professional advice before participating in the sale.

Delinquent Tax - Prior to Tax Sale
All tax remaining unpaid after the due date is delinquent and subject to interest and penalties as mandated by state law.

If payment is late, the following interest and penalty will be added to the balance owed:

  • A monthly interest of the January prime banking rate plus 3% will be added on the unpaid principle balance due. The 2020 monthly interest rate is .6458%.
  • A five percent (5%) penalty will be added to the unpaid principle 120 days from the due date. An additional 5% penalty (on the unpaid principle) will accrue again every 120 days until a maximum 20% penalty has been charged.

If remaining balance is not paid in full, a FiFa (tax lien) may be issued against the property and the owner of record as of January 1. For real property, if the owner on January 1 can provide proof of the transfer of ownership and transfer of tax liability within 90 days of the date of delinquency, the tax bill will be reissued and a FiFa will be filed in the name of the current owner. Once a FiFa has been issued, the property is subject to levy and sale at a tax auction. When a property has been selected to go to tax sale, additional costs in the form of fees are added to the delinquent account for title research, advertising and other necessary actions.

Real property will be subject to tax sale after the property tax is 3 years delinquent.

Tax Sale
Whitfield County holds 1 tax sale a year on the first Tuesday in October at 10am. A tax sale list can be found in the Dalton Daily Citizen newspaper in the Legal Advertisements section, every Friday for four weeks prior to the sale. A tax sale list can also be requested via email or in office four weeks prior to the sale.

The Whitfield County Tax Commissioner follows legal procedures prescribed by the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) when levying property. We strongly suggest reading those sections of Georgia law which pertain to tax executions and tax sales. OCGA 48-3 and 48-4, contain important information regarding tax executions and tax sales.

Bidders or a representative must be present to bid. Mail, phone or faxed bids are not acceptable.

The opening bid for a property is the amount of tax due, plus penalties and all other applicable fees. Payment is due in full immediately after the conclusion of the tax sale. Cash, certified funds, money orders, or personal checks are accepted. If payment is made via check, our clerk will verify funds prior to processing the payment.

After the Sale
Though the tax sale purchaser receives a Sheriff’s tax deed for the property, possession of, improvements to, and/or eviction of any tenants on the property, are not allowed immediately according to Georgia law.

Georgia law allows the property owner or anyone with any right, title or interest in the property to repurchase (redeem) the Tax Deed from the tax sale purchaser. On non-judicial tax sales, the right of redemption cannot be foreclosed upon by the tax sale purchaser within a year after the tax sale date. Until the right of redemption has been foreclosed by the tax sale purchaser, a sheriff’s tax deed has about the same equivalence as a lien against the property.

When real property is sold at a tax sale, the owner, creditor or any person having an interest in the property may redeem the property from the holder of the tax deed within 12 months from the original tax sale date. The redemption price may include the purchaser’s bid amount, taxes paid by the purchaser after the tax sale, any special assessments on the property, plus a 20% premium. The tax sale purchaser is responsible for determining the amount payable for redemption. Redemption of the property puts the title conveyed by the tax sale back to the owner of record and is subject to all liens that existed at the time of the tax sale.

Whitfield County does not assist in the redemption or foreclosure process.

Motor Vehicles


OVERVIEW

Renewal Information
A tag renewal notice lists ad valorem tax and tag renewal fees due along with any other applicable fees that must be collected to renew the vehicle’s registration. Renewal notices are mailed approximately 45-60 days prior to the registration expiration date by the State of Georgia. If a tag renewal notice is needed, please contact us to request a notice be mailed to the address on file. Call: 706-275-7510 or wctco@whitfieldcounty

New Purchase Information
All title / registration transactions require a current Georgia driver's license reflecting your current physical address in Whitfield County. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) offers one free change of address on a Georgia driver’s license online or in person at one of their facilities. Visit their website for more information. Businesses wishing to title a vehicle to the business must provide their active business license during each initial registration process.

Voluntary Registration Cancellation
Cancelling the registration notifies our office, law enforcement, and the Department of Revenue that said vehicle is not and will not be on the road. Cancelling the registration does not destroy the registration. It only renders it inactive.

Specialty Tags
Specialized and personalized plates are issued to private passenger vehicles only that are owned by Georgia residents. A list of all available specialty plates can be found HERE. From this list, click the desired type of specialty plate to view a sample of the plate, requirements and applicable fees.

Disabled Persons
A disabled person's license plate costs $20 (same as standard) plus any other fees and penalties which may apply, including ad valorem tax and title tax, if applicable. If the vehicle currently has a valid Georgia license plate and a disabled person's license plate is being requested for the same vehicle, a disabled person license plate will be issued at no cost. Disabled person’s license plates do not need an affidavit to renew, but are renewed each year as any registration is renewed. If you are permanently disabled, you can also apply for a disabled person plate for each vehicle you own.


DEALER AND FLEET SERVICES

Dealer
Titles may be processed by mail, walk through, or by drop off. For optimal efficiency in processing title work, all dealership applications should be complete and ready to process at time of submission. Incomplete paperwork will be returned to the dealership for correction.

Drop offs and Mail-ins are processed in the order in which they are received. Please allow 24 hours to process these submissions.

A TAVT Calculator is available on the Department of Revenue website. The calculator does not include penalties and fees which may apply if the title is not submitted by the mandated deadline.

Fleet
Fleet renewals may be processed by mail or by drop off. For optimal efficiency in processing fleet work, review renewal notices for deletions and registration cancellations. If any renewal notices are missing, please contact our office at 478.621.6500.

When all renewal notices are ready to process, please submit the following:
  • A copy of fleet insurance card.
  • Form 2290 for each vehicle with a GVW of 55,000 lbs. or more.


DISABLED PERSONS

Disabled Persons Placards and Plates
To obtain a disabled person's license placard (which hangs from the rear-view mirror) or plate, submit the following to our office:

Note: The licensed healthcare practitioner or doctor designates whether the disability is temporary or permanent.

Permanent Disability:
Parking Placard (Blue Hang Tag) - Permanent placards are reissued every four years but a new MV9-D is not required. To renew a permanent placard, the person who was initially issued the placard must bring their current placard and their Georgia driver's license or Georgia ID with current Whitfield County address to our office. One (1) placard is valid; multiple placards may not be issued.

License Plate (Blue Emblem Plate) - A disabled person's license plate standard fee is $20 plus any other fees and penalties which may apply, including ad valorem tax and title tax, if applicable. If the vehicle currently has a valid Georgia license plate and a disabled person's license plate is being requested for the same vehicle, a disabled person license plate will be issued at no cost. Disabled person’s license plates do not need a new MV9-D to renew, but are renewed each year as any registration is renewed. If you are permanently disabled, you can also apply for a disabled person plate for each vehicle you own.

Temporary Disability:
Temporary Disabled Person's Placards (Red Hang Tag) - Temporary placards are valid for six months from the issue date. To renew a temporary placard, a newly-completed MV9-D form must be submitted.


INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

Proof of insurance is required when issuing a tag or renewing a decal. Georgia law requires all insurance companies submit vehicle insurance policy information, and validity of same, electronically to the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS). Insurance cards are not acceptable proof of insurance coverage for motor vehicle transactions. Changes or cancellations to vehicle insurance are electronically updated to the state system by the insurance company. For most companies, this takes about 24 to 48 hours.

Printed Proof of Georgia Insurance
An original 30-day Insurance Binder with an effective date that is less than 30 days may be accepted for the following reasons:

  1. A vehicle is purchased from an individual.
  2. Tag was cancelled during time period with no insurance. Tag reinstatement is requested.
  3. Owner has moved in from out of state.

Fleet or Self Insured policy
Fleet card or self-insurance documents are required to be submitted with all vehicle transactions including renewals. The card must be presented at the time of registration or renewal.

Lapse of Insurance, Suspensions and Waivers
A lapse in insurance occurs when a vehicle has not carried valid Georgia liability insurance coverage for a period of more than 10 days. Insurance companies report the lapse to the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR), and a notice of pending registration suspension is generated and mailed by the DOR. A lapse will result in a $25 pending suspension fee which must be paid within 30 days.

If the pending-suspension fee of $25 is not paid by the due date, the registration is suspended by the DOR. To reinstate the registration, the vehicle must have valid Georgia insurance coverage, the $25 pending suspension fee plus a $60 reinstatement fee must be paid, as well as any other registration fees, ad valorem taxes or penalties due. Any additional lapses in coverage and/or suspensions will result in additional fines and penalties including cancellation of the vehicle’s registration.

Cancelling Insurance
Before cancelling insurance on a vehicle, cancel the registration first to avoid penalties.

Cancelling the registration is highly recommended if the vehicle is:

  • Sold or traded-in
  • Registered in another state
  • Repossessed, stolen, wrecked, salvaged by an insurance company, or junked
  • Stored or rendered inoperable

Cancelling the registration notifies our office, law enforcement, and the DOR that the vehicle is not, and will not be, on the road. Cancelling the registration renders it inactive while maintaining the record.

Registration can be reactivated at any time, provided insurance is restored and any outstanding taxes due are paid.


NEW RESIDENTS

New to Whitfield County? Welcome to Whitfield County…we look forward to serving you!

Moving to Whitfield County from another Georgia county?

The registered owner of the vehicle must submit the change of address request. Please notify us within 30 days of establishing residency in one of the following ways:

  • By Email - Email us at wctco@whitfieldcounty. Include tag number and a scanned copy or picture of owner’s driver’s license with new Whitfield County address.
  • By Mail - Mail the change of address request to Whitfield County Tax Commissioner 205 N. Selvidge St, Dalton, GA 30720. Include a copy of the owner’s driver’s license or a lease agreement with new Whitfield County address.
  • In Person - Address changes may be done in person by visiting us at the Whitfield County Tax Commissioner’s Office | 205 N Selvidge St., Ste J, Dalton, GA 30720, and presenting a valid Georgia driver’s license or ID card with the current Whitfield County address.

The plate/tag number remains the same, though a new gray decal to replace the old county information will be given. Of course, if using an “In God We Trust” decal, it can be kept in lieu of a county decal.
The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) offers one free change of address on a Georgia driver’s license online or in person at one of their facilities. Visit their website for more information.
Moving to Whitfield County from another state?

Out-of-state title applications and registration require visiting the Whitfield County Tax Commissioner’s Office and bringing the following:

  • A valid GEORGIA driver’s license/ID which shows a current Whitfield County address (to obtain a Georgia driver’s license reflecting a Whitfield County address, apply for a driver’s license at the DDS website.
  • Proof of Georgia Insurance
  • Proof of ownership

Out of State Title:

  • Must have original title with owner(s) name printed on front
  • All listed owners on original title must be present or have a Limited Power of Attorney* and copy of driver’s license for the owner who is absent

Leased Vehicle:

  • Copy of lease agreement
  • Original Limited Power of Attorney authorizing lessee to register vehicle in Georgia (obtained from the leasing company).
  • Current registration from previous state

Title held by Lien Holder:

  • All listed owners on original title must be present or have an original Limited Power of Attorney* and copy of driver’s license for the owner who is absent
  • Current registration from previous state
  • Name, address, and phone number of Lien Holder

* Limited Power of Attorney form must include Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and may be found HERE.

New out-of-state residents are charged 3% of the vehicle's fair market value for title ad valorem tax (TAVT) at the time of title application.

Expiration:

All registrations in Georgia expire at midnight on the birthday of the owner (first person listed on title). If a renewal notice is not received in the mail at least a month ahead of the birthday of the primary owner, then contact our office and we will be happy to send you the renewal notice. Remember that it is the responsibility of the owner to renew the registration before the deadline.


PURCHASING A VEHICLE

New Purchases
All vehicles 1986 and newer require a title to transfer ownership. Transfer of ownership must be processed in the county in which the new owner lives.

Note: Salvage vehicles are not eligible for a Georgia registration until they have been rebuilt and have passed inspection. For more information on salvage vehicles, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website. www.dor.ga.gov.

Businesses wishing to title a vehicle to the business must provide their active business license during each initial registration process.

Purchased from a Dealer
When a vehicle is purchased from a dealership, the dealer submits the necessary documents to apply for title. The title application must be processed either prior to or at the same time the registration is issued. The dealer also submits proof of insurance, copy of purchaser’s driver’s license reflecting Whitfield county address, prior title/MSO, title ad valorem tax (TAVT) and a completed MV-1 form.

Note: It is the sole responsibility of the dealership to collect and submit TAVT to the tag office to submit title application. If a vehicle is purchased from a dealership, the customer (or purchaser) cannot submit title application/registration or pay TAVT with a personal check.

Initial Registration
All title work must be completed before a tag will be issued.

Dealerships may purchase a tag for the customer.

If a dealership purchases and submits the tag request with the title application electronically, the tag will be mailed to the customer directly from the Department of Revenue in Atlanta.

If the dealership does not purchase a tag, the new owner must visit our office to purchase a tag. The owner must provide a copy of a valid driver’s license with current Whitfield county address.

Effective July 1, 2015: If a brand new vehicle (i.e., one that has never been the subject of a sale at retail to the general public) is purchased, the state offers the option of purchasing a two-year registration during the initial registration period for a $40 fee (standard plates only). Annual registration renewal applies thereafter. Availability offered for passenger cars designed to carry 10 passengers or less only.

Purchased from an Individual or Business
For a vehicle purchased from an individual or business (other than a dealer) in a casual/private sale, the new owner is required to apply for the title and registration. The new owner must title and register the vehicle in their name within seven (7) days of the purchase date per law enforcement if vehicle is driven and within 30 days to avoid late penalties from the Department of Revenue (DOR).

When the seller has provided a title properly signed over, the purchaser needs to bring the following items to our office:

  1. Title correctly signed over to new owner
  2. New owner(s) present with valid identification, first owner must have valid Georgia driver's license or Georgia identification card reflecting the Whitfield County address.
  3. Valid Georgia Insurance
  4. If the vehicle is leased, provide the original lease agreement that includes the names and addresses of the leasing company and the lessee(s).
TAVT is collected at the time of titling. To use the online TAVT calculator provided by the DOR for a TAVT estimate, click HERE.

If vehicle is purchased from an individual or business and the Certificate of Title is in the possession of a bank or other financial institution, the purchaser or lien holder must apply for the Georgia title and registration. If financing the vehicle, the lien holder normally submits the necessary documents to apply for title.

Initial Registration
All title work must be completed before a tag will be issued. Tag may be applied for at the time of title application.

If financing, the lien holder will send notification to the new owner that the title application has been processed. The new owner will then need to visit our office to register the vehicle.


RENEWALS

Renewal notices are mailed approximately 45-60 days prior to the registration expiration* date by the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR). A tag renewal notice lists ad valorem tax (if applicable) and tag renewal fees due along with any other applicable fees that must be collected to renew the vehicle’s registration.

*Birthday of primary owner for individuals and alphabetically for businesses

If a tag renewal notice has not been received, call 706-275-7510 to request a duplicate renewal notice, check the DOR website or email request to wctco@whitfieldcounty.

Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the registered owner/taxpayer from the obligation to register/renew the vehicle’s registration by the due date (midnight of the primary owner’s birthday). If the owner does not receive a renewal notice, it is still the owner’s responsibility to renew by the expiration date. Penalties applied by the state cannot be waived due to the owner not receiving a renewal notice.

If the primary owner has recently moved and has not received a renewal notice, notify us of the change of address. A valid driver’s license with a Whitfield County address or a copy of your lease agreement must be submitted. If the primary owner is a company, a valid business license at the new address must be submitted. Also, please include a copy of the fleet card if renewing fleet vehicles.

We offer 3 ways to renew your registration:

  • Online - The DOR website offers lookup availability to renew registration.
  • By Mail - Complete the requested information on the renewal notice and remit payment by check. Be sure to include the tag number. If the amount is not listed, please call 706-275-7510 or email wctco@whitfieldcounty. Mail renewal using the return envelope provided or address envelope to Whitfield County Tax Commissioner | 205 n Selvidge St, Ste J Dalton, GA 30720.
  • In Person - Visit our office at the Whitfield County Tax Commissioner’s Office | 205 N Selvidge St Ste J Dalton, GA 30720 between the hours of 8 AM – 4:55PM.

Legislation Effective July 1, 2015 impacting renewals

Georgia House Bill 170 adds new fees for alternative fuel vehicle owners. More information
House Bill 170 also adds new highway impact fees for all vehicles over 15,500 lbs. - gross vehicle weight rating. More information


SPECIAL TAGS

Specialized license plates may be applied for at our office. If the specialty plate is in inventory and all requirements for issuance are met, the plate will be issued at the time of application. If the plate is not in inventory, a temporary permit will be assigned until the plate can be issued and mailed from the Department of Revenue in Atlanta.

Specialized and personalized plates are issued to private passenger vehicles only that are owned by Georgia residents.

A list of all available specialty plates can be found HERE. From this list, click the desired type of specialty plate to view a sample of the plate, requirements and fees.

College and University Plates

See list of Available College and University specialty plates HERE. No special requirements.

  • $25 manufacturing fee per plate. (One Time)
  • $35 special tag fee. (Yearly)
  • $20 license plate fee. (Yearly)

Military

Requires special qualifications. Surviving spouses are entitled to apply for the following military license plates in his or her name through our office as long as they do not remarry. A list of military tags can be found HERE.

1 free tag per eligible category; fees are waived for manufacturing and yearly tag renewals.

Special Interest

Certain special interest plates require additional documentation before issuance and renewal. More information about requirements and pricing, as well as samples, can be found HERE.

  • $0 - $25 - Manufacturing fee varies per individual specialty plate (One Time)
  • $25 - $35 - Special tag fee varies per individual specialty plate (Yearly)
  • $20 - standard license plate fee (Yearly)

Personalized - Special License Plate with Name and/or Other Letters or Numbers

To view if the prestige tag combination you would like is available for purchase please check HERE.

To request a special prestige license plate, submit the following to our office:


Relinquishing the Ownership of a Special License Plate

Owners of prestige, college, commemorative or other specialty plates (tags), not requiring special qualifications to obtain, may relinquish the ownership of their tag to another person or persons by providing them with:


IMPORTANT: By signing the form and accepting the plate and registration certificate, the new owner understands that any applicable registration fees and vehicle ad valorem tax will be calculated based on his or her registration period and not the registration period of the previous owner of the plate. The new owner of the specialty plate should not place the plate on their vehicle until it has been properly registered to him or her through our office.


TAG CANCELLATION & REACTIVATION

Cancelling Vehicle Registration

Vehicle registration may be cancelled at any time. However, to avoid insurance suspension fines, it is advised to cancel the registration before cancelling the insurance policy. The vehicle's ad valorem tax must be current.

Cancelling the registration notifies our office, law enforcement, and the Department of Revenue that the vehicle is not, and will not be, on the road. Cancelling the registration renders it inactive but does not remove it.

Cancelling the registration is highly recommended if the vehicle is:

  • Sold or traded-in
  • Registered in another state
  • Repossessed, stolen, wrecked, salvaged by an insurance company, or junked
  • Stored or rendered inoperable

Reactivating Vehicle Registration

Reactivation of a registration can be done at any time, provided the insurance has been restored and any outstanding taxes due have been paid.

We offer 2 ways to cancel registration:

  • In Person - Whitfield County Tax Commissioner’s Office| 205 N Selvidge St, Ste J., Dalton, GA 30720. The vehicle owner must be present when completing this transaction in person. The owner must provide their valid Georgia driver’s license or Georgia ID card.
  • Mail - Whitfield County Tax Commissioner’s Office |205 N Selvidge St, Ste J., Dalton GA 30720. When submitting request by mail, please include a copy of the owner’s valid Georgia driver’s license or Georgia ID card and a completed Registration Cancellation Form signed by the vehicle owner.

Reactivating a Voluntarily Cancelled Vehicle Registration

To reactivate a vehicle’s registration, please provide/complete the following:

  • Valid Insurance
  • Ad Valorem tax up-to-date (If applicable)
  • Tag fee up-to-date

We offer 2 ways to reactivate registration:

  • In Person - Whitfield County Tax Commissioner’s Office | 205 N. Selvidge St., Ste J., Dalton GA. You must provide your valid Georgia driver’s license and VIN
  • Mail - Whitfield County Tax Commissioner| 205 N. Selvidge St., Ste J., Dalton GA 30720. When submitting request by mail, please include a copy of the owner’s valid Georgia driver’s license and VIN.

General Information

Please refer to our Important Taxpayer Information brochure for details on exemptions, mobile home taxes, assessments and appeals, tax returns and dates to remember.

Ad Valorem Tax Process
Ad valorem tax, more commonly known as property tax, is a large source of revenue for local governments in Georgia. The basis for ad valorem taxation is the fair market value of the property, which is established as of January 1 of each year. The tax is levied on the assessed value of the property which, by law, is established at 40% of the fair market value unless otherwise specified by law (O.C.G.A. 48-5-7). Fair market value means "the amount knowledgeable a buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm's length, bona fide sale. "(O.C.G.A. 48-5-311) The amount of tax is determined by the tax rate (mill rate) levied by various entities (one mill is equal to $1.00 for each $1,000 of assessed value, or .001).

Several distinct entities are involved in the ad valorem tax process:

The State Revenue Commissioner is responsible for examining the tax digests of counties in Georgia in order to determine that property is assessed uniformly and equally between and within the counties (O.C.G.A. 48-5-340). In addition, the State levies ad valorem tax each year in an amount which cannot exceed one-fourth of one mill (.00025).

The Whitfield County Tax Assessor is responsible for the appraisal, assessment, and the equalization of all assessments within the county. They notify taxpayers when changes are made to the value of property, receive and review all appeals filed, and insure that the appeal process proceeds properly. In addition, they approve all exemptions claimed by the taxpayer.

The Whitfield County Board of Equalization, appointed by the Grand Jury, is the body charged by law with hearing and adjudicating administrative appeals to property values and assessments made by the Board of Tax Assessors.

The Whitfield County Commission establishes the annual budget for county government operations and levies the mill rate necessary to fund the portion of the budget to be paid for by ad valorem tax.

The Whitfield County Board of Education, an elected body, establishes the annual budget for school purposes and adopts the mill rate necessary to fund the portion of the budget to be paid for by ad valorem tax.

The Whitfield County Tax Commissioner, an elected office established by the Constitution, is the official responsible for performing all functions related to billing, collecting, accounting for and disbursing ad valorem taxes collected in this county. The Tax Commissioner also serves as an agent of the State Revenue Commissioner for the registration of motor vehicles. The Tax Commissioner does not set value or the millage rates.

Tax Bills
Property tax bills and normally mailed out by October 20 of each year. Taxes are to be paid by December 20 of the same year.

Tax Returns
In accordance with Georgia law, all property held and subject to taxation on January 1 of the tax year, shall be returned by the owner to the Tax Assessor’s Office between January 1 and April 1 of that tax year. Any taxpayer who fails to return his property for taxation shall be deemed to have returned for taxations the same property at the same final valuation as and same real property exemptions as for the preceding year.A property owner who is dissatisfied with the assessed value of their property may also file a return stating their opinion of the true Fair Market Value of the property as of January 1 of the tax year. This will establish appeal right if the value is changed again by the Tax Assessor’s Office.

Address Changes
Property owners must notify the Tax Assessor’s Office or Tax Commissioner’s Office immediately of any change in their mailing address. Georgia law requires that all tax notices are sent to the taxpayer at their last know address.

Mobile/Manufactured Home Permits
Owners of mobile homes that are located in Whitfield County on January 1 must pay the ad valorem taxes by May 1 of each year. After the due date there is a 10% filing penaly and 1% per month fee is added. If the taxes are not paid, there is a fifa filed on the docket in the clerk of superior court. The mobile home will be sold at auction.

Mobile home taxes are due by May 1 unless the mobile home is homesteaded in which case they are taxes the same as real property. All mobile homes must display a current decal. The decal is provided upon payment of the taxes each year. Mobile home owners who qualify for homestead exemption for their mobile home may obtain a current decal from the Tax Commissioner’s Office. To qualify for homestead on a mobile home, the owner of the mobile home and the property on which it is located must be the same, and the owner must qualify for a regular homestead as mentioned earlier in this bulletin. The fair market and assessed values of mobile homes are set by the Tax Assessors’ Office. The fair market value may be appealed by filing an appeal with the Tax Assessors’ Office. For more information regarding appeals, contact the Tax Assessors’ Office at 706-275-7410.

Mobile home owners desiring to declare a different value from the existing value on the home have 45 days to file an appeal from the date the bills are mailed with the Board of Tax Assessors. If a taxpayer is dissatisfied with the value change or corrections, the taxpayer has the right to appeal to the Board of Equalization within 21 days of the date of the notice.

Homestead Exemptions
Homestead exemptions have been enacted to reduce the burden of ad valorem taxation for Georgia homeowners. The exemptions apply to homestead property owned by the taxpayer and occupied as his or her legal residence. Homestead exemptions are deducted from the assessed value of the qualifying property (40% of the fair market value).

The homestead of each residence of the State of Georgia actually occupied as a residence and homestead on January 1 of the tax year may be exempted from certain ad valorem taxation providing the exemption is returned and claimed in the manner prescribed by law and approved by the County Board of Assessors. All exemptions must be filed with the Tax Commissioner’s Office, at 205 N Selvidge Street in Dalton, Georgia between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Applications are accepted from January 1 through April 1 each year for the current tax year. Failure to make application within the prescribed time frame constitutes a waiver of the exemption for that tax year. Georgia law does not provide for an extension time for filing. All exemptions, once approved, are automatically renewed each year until eligibility changes unless exceptions are noted.

Once granted, the homestead exemption is automatically renewed each year and the taxpayer does not have to apply again unless there is a change of residence, ownership, or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.

Types of Homestead Exemptions
Under authority of the State Constitution several different types of homestead exemptions are provided. These are called State Exemptions. In addition, local governments are authorized to provide for increased exemption amounts. These are called Local County Exemptions. Whitfield County has such local county exemptions. The Local County Exemptions supersede the State Exemptions when the Local Exemption amount is greater than the State Exemption amount. The Tax Commissioner's office and Tax Assessor's Office can answer questions regarding the standard exemptions as well as any local exemptions that are in place.

(No exemption will exceed the tax liability)

Income limits may apply

S1 - Regular Homestead Exemption

S3 - Elderly Age 62

S5 - Disabled Veteran

SD - Age 65 Disabled Veteran

SS - Un-remarried Armed Forces Surviving Spouse

S4 - Elderly Age 65

S4-7 - Elderly Age 70

Specialized and Preferential Assessment Programs
Whitfield County has several types of preferential assessments.

They are the Conservation Use and Residential Transitional Property (Statewide Ref. GA Code Ann. 48-5-7.4), the Preferential Assessment for Agricultural Property (Statewide Ref. GA Code Ann. 48-5-7.4.1), and the Rehabilitated Historic Property (Statewide Ref. GA Code Ann. 48-5-7.2).

Each of these specialized or preferential programs requires the property owner to covenant with the Tax Assessor to maintain the property in its qualified use for at least 10 years in order to qualify for the preference. The Tax Assessor can explain the ownership and use restrictions regarding property qualifying for either of these programs. Please contact this office at 706-275-7410.

Assessment Appeals
The Whitfield County Board of Assessors’ appraisal staff determines your property values based on recent sales and market conditions. These values are based on the condition of the property as of January 1st of the tax year. The Board of Tax Assessors is required to issue a notice of assessment for taxable real and personal property which states the value of said property. These notices are generally mailed in the Spring of each year.

If the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the value placed on the property, the taxpayer has the right to appeal this value within 45 days of the date of the notice. The appeal may be based on taxability, value, uniformity, and/or the denial of an exemption. The written appeal must initially be filed with the Board of Tax Assessors and must state their chosen method of appeal. There are 3 methods of appeal, which are outlined in the Important Taxpayer Information brochure.

Additional information on assessment appeals may be obtained from the Tax Assessors’ Office at 706-275-7410.

For further information regarding property taxation in Georgia, please visit the State of Georgia Local Government Services Division website.

Frequently Asked Questions

The information in this web site is intended to aid you in understanding your rights and responsibilities relating to property tax in Whitfield County. This site does not necessarily cover every aspect of property taxation and should not be relied upon as a legal source of information. There are many complex tax laws in Georgia, so if you don’t find the answers to your questions below, or, if you need clarification on information you find here, please contact us.

What is property taxation?
Property tax is an ad valorem tax, which means according to value. Ad valorem tax, the tax collected by the tax commissioner, is based on the value of the taxable property in the county.

What property is taxed?
All real estate and personal property are taxable unless law has exempted the property. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-3) Real property is land and generally anything that is erected, growing or affixed to the land; personal property is everything that can be owned that is not real estate. Personal property typically consists of inventory and fixtures used in conducting business, boats, aircraft, farm machinery, motor vehicles and mobile homes. Your household property is not normally taxable.

Who decides how much my property is worth for taxes?
The Board of Assessors has the responsibility of determining the value of property in Whitfield County. Each year between January 1 and April 1 every property owner has the ability to declare a proposed value for their property. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-9) These values are declared in the manner of 'filing a return'. Returns for real estate are filed in the Tax Assessor's office and returns for personal property are filed with the Board of Assessors. The Board of Assessors will review your proposed value and if they disagree, an assessment notice with the Boards' value will be mailed to you.

What if I disagree with the Tax Assessors' value?
If the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the value placed on the property, the taxpayer has the right to appeal this value within 45 days of the date of the notice. The appeal may be based on taxability, value, uniformity, and/or the denial of an exemption. The written appeal must initially be filed with the Board of Tax Assessors and must state their chosen method of appeal. For more information about Assessment Appeals, please refer to the Important Taxpayer Information Brochure.

What is the difference between fair market value and assessed value?
Assessed value is defined as being 40% of the fair market value. Property in Georgia is taxed on the assessed value. Whitfield County assesses property at 40%, but the City of Dalton assesses at 100%.

What is a millage rate?
The tax rate, or millage rate, is set annually by the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners and the Whitfield County Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. Each governing authority estimates their total revenue from other sources. This figure is subtracted from their overall budgetary needs, and then a millage rate is set that will generate the necessary revenues to fulfill budgetary requirements.

How is my tax bill calculated?
Once the property owner and the Board of Assessors have come to terms with an appropriate value, this value is provided to the Tax Commissioner for tax bill calculation. To calculate a tax bill, you must first deduct any exemptions that may apply from the assessed value; thus generating a net assessed (taxable) value. Next you multiply the net assessed value by the millage rate.

When is my tax bill due?
Taxes for real estate and business personal property are normally due in Whitfield County on December 20th of each year.

Mobile/manufactured homes are due May 1 of each year and motor vehicles are due based on the owners' birthday.

After the due date, for real estate and business personal property, interest at the rate of 1% per month is charged after December 20th. Additionally, a penalty of 10% will apply to all taxes that are not paid within 90 days of the deadline; however, homesteaded property with a tax liability of less than $500 does not receive the 90-day penalty. If the property taxes remain unpaid, the Tax Commissioner has the right and responsibility to levy on the property for non-payment. Of course, we consider this a last resort for tax collection and prefer to use other collection methods. Tax bills are mailed to the homeowner, never to the mortgage company. You must forward your bill to your mortgage company if necessary.

Is there any way to reduce my tax bill?
Yes. There are several exemptions and special assessment programs available that may apply to your property. The most common are the homestead exemption for real estate and for business personal property there is the freeport exemption. Contact the Whitfield County Tax Assessor's Office for details of the available special assessment programs and Homestead exemptions.

What is and how do I file for homestead exemption?
Homestead exemption is the system developed by the State of Georgia that exempts from taxation a specified amount of assessed value of your home. You may apply for homestead exemption in the Tax Assessor's office. To qualify you must both own and occupy your home as of January 1. Once you have qualified for homestead exemption and remain in the same house you do not need to reapply. However, if you move, you are required to reapply for the exemption for the new location. Application for homestead exemption may be submitted any time during the year but must be received before April 1 of the taxable year to qualify for the exemption that year. If received after April 1, the Tax Assessor will activate the exemption the following year. When the homeowner reaches the age of 62 years old, they may apply for an additional homestead exemption.

Where do I get a copy of my warranty deed?
You can obtain a copy of your warranty deed from the Clerk of Superior Court deed room. This office is located in the Whitfield County Courthouse.

Do I pay taxes on my mobile/modular home?
Yes. Mobile/modular homes are considered personal property and are taxable in the State of Georgia. Tax must be paid annually with a due date of May 1. The owner of any mobile/modular home located in Whitfield County must file a return and obtain a location permit. In order to obtain this permit the mobile home tax for the current year must be paid in full.

Where do property tax dollars go?
Property tax dollars support administration of county government and the public school system; build and maintain public buildings; bridges and county roads; pay expenses of courts; county jail and law enforcement; provide fire protection; and provide for public health and sanitation. This is an abbreviated list of how tax dollars are used to support local government projects. Please click here to review the Georgia Code for a complete list. (O.C.G.A. 48-5-220).

Will paying my taxes late affect my credit?
When taxes remain unpaid for more than 90 days after their due date, the taxes are subject to a tax fifa (lien) being recorded in the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court. These records are public so credit bureaus may access them and may use them to adversely affect your credit. The tax office does not deal with these credit bureaus and so has no control of how they use the information or how often they update their records.

News

Whitfield County government offices are closed on the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • July 4th
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Two days at Christmas - December 23 and 25
For more details on dates and employee furlough days, please refer to the County Calendar.

Timber Harvesting Form

Whitfield County, GA

Property Taxes
Mr. Danny W. Sane
Tax Commissioner
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1013 Riverburch Parkway
Dalton, Georgia 30721
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(706) 275-7510
8:00AM - 5:00PM



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