Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Equalized HOST passes State House

But take figures cited with a grain of salt

The Georgia House of Representatives has passed HB 215 on Monday by a vote of 128 to 35. HB 215 would increase sales taxes in DeKalb County by one percent to fund infrastructure improvements. The bill would adjust a portion of existing sales taxes to go toward property tax relief for homeowners (but not for commercial properties, rental properties, land lots, etc.) The nay votes were all from Republicans.

The Atlanta Journal reports:
“Residents in the cities will see a significant property tax reduction,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven. “All of DeKalb’s legislators — Republican and Democrat; north, south, east and west — agreed this is how we’re going to address deficiencies of how HOST is allocated.”
For example, property taxes would decrease by $625 on a $300,000 home in Decatur, Jacobs said. On a $500,000 Decatur home, property taxes would drop $1,065. 

There may be some miscommunication about the jurisdictions and numbers cited. Decatur homeowners should be aware that the HOST will not affect your city property tax bill. The HOST would only affect the tax bill you pay to DeKalb County. In 2014, a $300,000 home in in Decatur with the homestead exemption and HOST credit on their county tax bill would have paid $458 in property taxes to DeKalb. A decrease of $625 on a $458 tax bill is not possible. The HOST credit on the county tax bill for a $300,000 home in Decatur was about $605 in 2014. Rep. Jacobs or the AJC may have meant to say that the new HOST credit amount would be would be $625 for a home in Decatur, which would be a savings of $20 compared to last year.

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