DeKalb County homeowners who are 62 years old, disabled, or are veterans now have the option to apply online for special homestead exemptions.

The program started Jan. 3, but those who qualify for the program can still file in person or submit their documents by drop box.

According to DeKalb Tax Commission Irvin J. Johnson, applicants applying for special exemptions must have an existing homestead exemption on the primary residence to qualify for a special homestead exemption. Those filing for the special exemption must provide copies of their previous year’s federal and state income tax returns, a Social Security Form 1099, proof of age and/or proof of 100 percent total and permanent disability.

“Providing the highest level of customer service continues to be a top priority as we leverage technology to enhance the way we do business,” Johnson said. “By bringing the special exemption application process online, seniors and disabled residents avoid delays with filing in person and significantly reduce processing errors.”

Since 2018, the tax office has accepted online applications for basic exemptions, which are available to individuals who own and reside in a home in DeKalb County. A homestead exemption significantly reduces the amount of annual property taxes homeowners owe on their legal residence.

According to DeKalb County’s website, with the basic homestead exemption, DeKalb homeowners receive an assessment exemption of $12,500 for school taxes and $10,000 for county levies, but the exemption doesn’t include bonds. There are no age or income requirements.

The special homestead exemption is a bit more restrictive, with a determination of income calculated by the Georgia Department of Revenue. Individuals earning up to $40,140, or joint applicants earning $80,280, using the department’s calculations, are eligible for the exemption.

In the city of Brookhaven, those applying for the basic homestead exemption receive $28,000 plus city assessment freeze, if applicable, and with the senior exemption, receive $72,400 plus city assessment freeze, if applicable.

In Dunwoody, homeowners receive $10,000 off assessed value, plus a 1 mill reduction off assessed value. Those qualifying for a senior exemption receive $14,000 off assessed value and a one-mill reduction off assessed value.

According to Dunwoody Assistant City Manager Jay Vinicki, about 10,800 homeowners in the city have already taken advantage of the basic exemption.

Brookhaven Communications Manager Burke Brennan said 11,590 parcels have homestead exemptions in the city.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. However, current year exemption applications are only accepted from Jan. 2 through April 1. Applications received after the April 1 deadline will be processed for the following year.

To apply online for special homestead exemptions, or a basic exemption, please visit the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner’s website www.dekalbtax.org/file-homestead-exemption.

Cathy Cobbs

Cathy Cobbs covers Dunwoody for Reporter Newspapers and Rough Draft Atlanta. She can be reached at cathy@roughdraftatlanta.com