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Why does the school system receive taxes from my pontoon boat?

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Our new project Macon Me Curious needs your questions to get started. You ask, and we find the answers. So tell us: What have you always wondered about, found peculiar or downright confusing about where you live? Share at www.macon.com/curious .

Bibb County collects property tax on my pontoon boat. Why does some of that money go to the school system?

That was the question posed to us by a reader through Macon Me Curious, a project of the Center for Collaborative Journalism in partnership with The Telegraph and GPB Macon. Macon Me Curious takes questions from the community and assigns reporters to find the answers.

To understand why your boat is taxed, first you must know what property is subject to to be taxed.

Among the types of properties that can be taxed are real and personal property.

Personal property includes items that can be moved, such as vehicles, boats or furniture, while real property includes land and buildings.

Whether the boat is taxed depends on its value. If the total value of the boats you own is $7,500 or more, the owner must pay a personal property tax. That would also apply to aircraft.

“You can have a boat valued at $7,400 and not get a bill,” Bibb County Tax Commissioner Wade McCord wrote in an email. “You can buy another boat valued at $500, and you will receive a bill because the combined total is over $7,500.”

What that property is used for plays a factor in whether it’s taxed. For instance, residents don’t have to pay a property tax on the loveseat in their home, but office furniture used for a business can be taxed.

Now, why does the school system get a share of the taxes?

Well, like local municipalities and counties, state law allows school districts to also receive a portion of taxes.

So whether it’s a home, business or boat, school districts will get a share of tax revenue.

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