Covenants

Each of the following specialized assessments lasts a period of ten years. Each is designed to provide tax savings to special interest properties in a rapidly changing economic environment. Certain covenants can be renewed every ten years if the property continues to meet all qualifications. A breach of any of these covenants results in a penalty where any tax savings accrued over the life of the covenant must be paid back double. Any applications for these covenants must be filed with the Board of Assessors by April 1 each year to receive benefit for that tax year.

Conservation Use

Current use assessment, usually referred to as conservation use or CUVA, is also a 10 year covenant for certain properties being used for bona fide agricultural purposes. CUVA values are set bt the State of Georgia and cannot be appealed by the taxpayer; however, the Board of Tax Assessors must still maintain the fair market value on the property, and that value may be appealed by the property owner. There are restrictions on ownership and use of the property, and this program is also limited to a maximum of 2,000 acres of a single owner. There is no minimum acreage requirement, but all applications on parcels less than 10 acres must submit additional relevant records regarding proof of bona fide agricultural use for qualified property at the time of application. A breach of this covenant results in a penalty where any tax savings accrued over the life of the covenant must be paid back double. (O.C.G.A 48-5-7.4)

Preferential Agricultural

The preferential use program is a 10 year covenant which authorizes assessment at 30% of the fair market value instead of 40% for certain properties being used for bona fide agricultural purposes. There are restrictions on ownership and use of property, and this program is limited to a maximum of 2,000 acres of a single owner. However, the penalty for any breach is based on a factor according to years in the covenant. (O.C.G.A 48-5-7.1)

Forest Land Protection Act

Specialized assessment under the Forest Land Protection Act of 2008, usually referred to as FLPA, is a 10 year covenant for certain properties being used for the production fo trees, timber, or other wood and wood fiber products. FLPA values are set by the State of Georgia and cannot be appealed by the taxpayer; however, the Board of Tax Assessors must still maintain the fair market value on the property, and that value may be appealed by the property owner. There are limited restrictions on ownership of otherwise qualified tracts. There is no maximum tract size, but there is a minimum requirement of 200 acres and over 50% of the tract must be used for the qualifying purpose. (O.C.G.A 48-5-7.7)

For more information on any specialized assessments, please contact the Tax Assessor’s Office at 912-576-3241.