Each state does property taxes a little differently. Some states don’t send a property tax bill until after the year is completely over.
In Georgia, the 2018 property tax bill covers the time from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. If the property sale closes before the tax bill is mailed, the seller pays the buyer the seller’s portion of the tax bill at closing. When the bill does come out, the buyer must pay the full tax bill– even if the seller’s name is still on the bill. In our office we strive to give the buyer an accurate property tax credit at closing– but it is impossible to predict tax bills.
If either party didn’t pay the correct amount at closing, they need to settle-up once the tax bill comes out. Real estate agents don’t enjoy having the property tax discussion with buyers or with sellers, especially when the tax bills are higher than they have been in the past. They will welcome an introduction to a qualified closing attorney who can make sure both parties are aware that they may owe taxes to the other party once the tax bills are out.