The Georgia House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill this morning that would lower some Catoosa County property owners' tax bills.
The local act, sponsored by state Reps. Dewayne Hill and Steve Tarvin, will create a tax break for residents older than 65. If those property owners make less than $30,000 a year, they would get a $40,000 break on the assessed value of their home. (For example, if the assessed value of their home was $200,000, the owner would pay taxes as if were worth $160,000.)
The state Senate still needs to pass the local act. Then, voters will be asked to approve it on a referendum.
The bill comes at the same time that State Rep. Colton Moore, R-Trenton, and the Dade County Board of Education look to end the complete school tax break for residents older than 65.
In Dade County, residents pay no school property taxes on their home and up to 5 acres of land once they turn 66. Earlier this month, the Board of Education asked Moore and State Sen Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, to pass a local act that decreases this tax break.
Under the proposal, residents older than 65 would get a $150,000 credit on their property taxes. (If a home is worth $200,000, they would pay taxes as if it were worth $50,000.) Unlike the proposal in Catoosa County, the break applies regardless of a resident's income. However, the bill would require that residents in live in Dade County for at least five years before they receive the benefit.
When the Board unanimously passed a resolution asking for the change this month, Mullis told the Times Free Press he supports the legislation. Moore, meanwhile, has advocated for the bill but absorbed some blowback from residents on a Dade County Facebook page, called the Village Idiot.
In response, Moore will hold a community forum on the legislation Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Dade County Senior Center, located at 9622 Highway 11 in Trenton.
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.