Friday, January 30, 2009

Homeowners Could Get Tax Relief... For Now

The state House passed a bill today that would prevent homeowners from receiving delinquent tax notices for now… But it almost ensures higher property tax bills in the future.

Governor Sonny Perdue wants to cut $428 million in Homeowners' Tax Relief Grants this year to help fill a $2.2 billion budget shortfall.

But in a vote mostly along party lines, House Republicans want to make sure the state makes good on its promise to fund the grants... for now.

House Bill 143 also ties the relief grant to the state’s budget in the future. If the state has a deficit, there wouldn't be a grant to homeowners.

Republican House Majority Leader Jerry Keen says the bill will fix the homeowners' tax grant problem once and for all.

“We are trying for the first time to bring some reason, some common sense, but more importantly accountability and predictability to this system.”

But Democratic Representative Doug McKillip says the state should make good on its word to continue to provide the grants, which range from $200-$300.

“Ladies and gentlemen, a promise made is a debt unpaid… We owe the $265 to every one of them for ‘08, we must give it to them for ‘09… It is what we need to do…"

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration

-By Carl Zornes

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