Monday, June 14, 2010

Campaigning for a property tax exemption

In what’s turning out to be a political hot topic leading up to the statewide elections this fall, another prominent politician has endorsed the restoration of the Homeowner Tax Relief Grant (HTRG). The HTRG was an exemption that Georgia homeowners received in addition to the basic homestead exemption. In Decatur the HTRG had reduced annual property taxes by about $250.  The HTRG was basically eliminated by the Georgia General Assembly in 2009 until the economy rebounds.

Wayne Hill, who served as chairman of the Gwinnett County board of commissioners for years and was integral in developing the Republican Party in Gwinnett, is seeking nomination to run for state representative in the Sugar Hill area (District 98). Hill told the League of Women Voters, “I would like to reinstate the State credit on property taxes for all citizens of Georgia.”

Former governor and Democratic candidate for governor Roy Barnes has made similar statements. In radio ads, Barnes has said defunding the HTRG was “not right and it's not fair and when I'm Governor, it won't stand.”

If more and more candidates from both sides of the aisle continue running on this platform, it’s possible that we could see legislation during the 2011 session to amend the HB 143, the 2009 act that limited the circumstances under which the tax credit could be funded.

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