Georgia Senate Passes Bill For Atlanta Tax Relief

Atlanta tax relief is on the way as the Georgia senate recently passed two bills aimed at lowering the tax burden of Atlanta and the surrounding cities.

Two bills that provide relief for homeowners that pay Atlanta school taxes have cleared the Georgia senate, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The first bill provides relief for senior citizens. SB 486 grants senior citizens a maximum homestead exemption for school taxes of $100,000 of their property’s assessed value. New language in the bill caps the total exemptions granted at $10 million annually. If the total amount claimed exceeds that, then eligible seniors’ exemptions would be reduced on a proportionate basis.

These second bill, SB 485, would increase the basic maximum homestead exemption for school taxes from $30,000 to $50,000. A revision to the bill, however, makes the first $10,000 subject to assessment.

“This kind of makes us all investors in the school, in APS…; we want to make sure that we are all contributing,”  – Sen. Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta,

The bills’ future will ultimately be decided by voters in November. However, it is likely they will pass. The measures are not without critique, however. Detractors point to an instance last year where homeowners were hit with increased assessments that led to higher property tax bills.

Critics also argue that the Atlanta Public School system already outspends the state average on a per student basis by a wide margin ($18,000 vs $11,000), begging the question “how much is enough?”

A Tale of Two Taxes

Property taxes and school taxes are two of the main costs associated with home ownership. For now, it seems as though Atlanta tax relief may be on the way to help. Taxes vary widely around the country and knowing what you’re getting yourself into is important.

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