Ad valorem taxes (which means “according to the value”) are levied on real and personal property each year. Real property is land and any improvements such as buildings/houses or parking lots. Personal property is inventory and fixtures used in conducting business, boats, and machinery, etc. The basis for ad valorem taxation is the fair market value of the property as determined by the Chatham County Tax Assessor’s Office. Georgia law says only 40% of that value is taxable which is referred to as the assessed value.