Thursday, May 13, 2010

It’s official: Governor signs HB 1055

Gradually over the next five years, Georgia property owners will see the state’s portion of their county property tax bills eliminated. Like I projected before, this will save the typical owner about $30 a year once fully implemented. Since counties are responsible for collecting the state’s portion, City of Decatur residents will see no change to their city tax bill, but will see their DeKalb County tax bill lowered. This all assumes that there is no legal challenge to the law due to the lack of a fiscal note being attached to the bill during the legislative process. 

Here are the details from BusinessWeek:
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed legislation that would increase dozens of Georgia user fees and slap a new tax on hospitals to help balance the state's struggling budget.

The legislation Perdue signed Wednesday would also cut taxes for property owners and upper-income senior citizens.

"Signing this bill ensures a balanced budget and lays the groundwork for economic recovery," the Republican governor said in a statement.

The tax cuts would phase in over five years and were tacked on during this year's legislative session to give some GOP legislators cover to vote for a controversial proposal to tax hospitals on their revenue. The additional money from the 1.45 percent tax on hospital revenue is to be funneled to Medicaid.

Lawmakers were struggling to close a $785 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1. It follows 15 months of plunging revenues.

Perdue had pushed both tax cuts in past years without success. Together, they'll mean the loss of $387 million in revenue when they are fully phased in by 2016.

The approved property tax cut would eliminate the state portion of property taxes. Perdue's office said savings would amount to roughly $31.50 a household…

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