Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Governor signs Decatur homestead exemption bills

Governor Deal signed legislation yesterday that will put five separate questions on November ballots to expand homestead exemptions in Decatur. Deal signed Senate Bill 339, which authorizes a referendum on increasing the basic homestead exemption (known as the GH1) from $20,000 to $25,000. SB 340 allows a vote on increasing the exemption for homeowners over 65 (GH2) from $1,000 to $10,000. SB 342 makes another ballot question that would create a new $15,000 exemption (GH3) for homeowners over 62 with household income under $50,000. SB 341 repeals an old cap on exemption amounts. SB 343 authorizes a vote to create an exemption from school taxes (excluding school bond taxes) for homeowners over 65. Voter approval of these measures would reduce property taxes for eligible homeowners by decreasing the taxable value of their homes. If approved on Nov. 8, 2016, homeowners would become eligible for the homestead exemptions in 2017. The new school exemption would expire in 2021 unless it is renewed.

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