Decatur To Push For Senior Tax Relief This Legislative Session; Promises To Revisit Annexation Later This YearDecatur Metro | February 3, 2016 | 10:05 am
The City of Decatur sent out this note to press – and me! – this morning…
The City of Decatur’s primary interest during the 2016 Georgia General Assembly session is to support the passage of homestead exemption legislation amending and creating tax relief for our resident homeowners, particularly for seniors. Mayor Patti Garrett said, “Property tax relief for long-time residents who have been a part of our community for many years is our top priority, and we are focused on getting homestead exemption legislation passed this session.”
School Board Chair Annie Caiola said, “Over the past decade there have been significant austerity cuts to the State’s education budget, meaning that local residents have had to pay more and more property taxes in order to maintain the strength of our school system. The increasing property taxes are forcing too many seniors out of our community, and it needs to stop. The City Schools of Decatur School Board strongly supports legislation that will exempt our seniors from ad valorem school taxes.”
Proposed homestead exemption legislation would authorize referendums in November, 2016 and, if approved by the voters, would be effective in 2017.
In the 2015 General Assembly HB 663 was adopted by the Georgia House of Representatives that authorized a referendum to annex areas to the east of the existing city limits of Decatur. “We have new City leadership, a new School Superintendent and new Board of Education leadership,” said Mayor Garrett, “and we need to look at a variety of issues, including annexation, so we will not be pursuing adoption of HB 663 by the Georgia Senate during the 2016 session.”
It is anticipated that the City Commission and the Board of Education will revisit annexation later in 2016 to determine what options should be pursued in the future.
Photos courtesy of City of Decatur and CSD