State House candidates debate education funding [video]

Colton Moore poses for a photo with State Rep. John Deffenbaugh, R-Lookout Mountain, Thursday, March 29, 2018 at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Ga. Deffenbaugh invited Moore, his 24-year-old opponent in the upcoming election, to the Capitol building, so Moore could gain first-hand knowledge about the job of serving as a State Representative.

TRENTON, Ga. - During a debate Thursday night, state Rep. John Deffenbaugh defended keeping a tax break referendum off the ballot.

Deffenbaugh said local school officials had not properly thought through a plan to cut the "65 and 5" property tax exemption. Under the policy, residents over 65 years old do not have to pay school property taxes on up to 5 acres of land.

He said he was against the plan because Dade County Schools officials did not tell him how the plan would compare with surrounding counties. He believes the rules should be the same for neighboring governments.

In Walker County, residents see property tax exemptions at 70 years old, when $50,000 of the assessed value for their home is not counted in the calcuation of their tax bill.