Ad valorem or property tax is the primary source of revenue for local governments and schools in Georgia and a major source of revenue for cities. Property taxes are based on a 40% assessment of the fair market value of both real and tangible personal property by the County Tax Assessors. The Tax Assessors are responsible for the evaluation and appraisal of the property. The evaluation is based on the value of the property on January 1.
Property taxes are determined by multiplying the 40% assessment by the millage rate. The governing authorities for each entity set the millage rate. The millage rate for the state is always 1/4 of a mill; and the County Board of Commissioners sets the millage rate for county taxes and the County Board of Education sets the millage rate for County Schools.
2013 Polk Property Millage Rates 2012 Property Tax Digest
Property Tax Rate Trends
· Corporate Income Taxes - Georgia has one of the most stable corporate income tax policies in the country, with no changes in our low 6% rate since 1969, and with none on the horizon. Georgia businesses are taxed only on income apportioned to Georgia, not on a "unitary tax" basis. Georgia's 6% corporate income tax rate applies only to the portion of income that is earned in Georgia. This portion is determined by multiplying the corporation’s adjusted taxable income by the weighted average of three ratios: property, payroll, and sales.
· Personal Income Tax - Personal Income Tax rates range from 1% to 6% of taxable income.
Sales/Use Taxes – At 4% at the State level, it includes natural gas*, oil*, gasoline*, telephone, artificial gas*, electricity* and rentals. The County sales tax is 3% (1% Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) plus 2% Special Purpose Local Option (SPLOST) for a total sales tax of 7% for Polk County.
* Sales tax on energy used in manufacturing is being phased out at 25% reduction for each of the next four years (excluding the 1% Education SPLOST). The current manufacturing energy sales tax collection rate is 4.5% for 2013.
Unemployment Insurance – Georgia’s initial tax rate is 2.7% of each employee's first $8,500 in earnings. The average is 5% of each employee's first $8,500 which is the 6th lowest in the nation.
Other Tangibles – Corporate net worth tax (capital stock + retained earnings) applies only to apportioned net worth.
Intangibles – Collected annually by county. Rates are fixed by state law, and range from $.10 to $1 for each $1,000 of fair market value.
Freeport – Freeport is general term used for the exemption of ad valorem tax on inventories. The following are the
categories of inventoried goods.
1. Manufacture’s raw material and goods in process
2. Finished goods held by the original manufacturer; and
3. Finished goods held by distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers destined for out-of-state shipment.
Polk County has 100% exemption in (3) areas.