Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fate of Homeowners' Tax Grants Hangs in Limbo

State lawmakers are holding back a bill from governor's desk that keeps homeowners' tax grants for this year. But Governor Sonny Perdue says finding the money to fund the grants will come at a price.

The grants would be worth $200-$300 to homeowners. But Perdue told county commissioners Tuesday the grants just don't work. Speaking at a luncheon for the Association of County Commissioners in Georgia, Perdue says the original intent of the grants was to entice counties to keep property taxes low. And that, he says, hasn't happened.

If the state does find the $428 million to fund the grants, Perdue says everyone would feel the cuts.

"And the end result will be less money for education, healthcare, public safety, and other programs vital to your communities. That's not a threat in any way. I'm just telling you. There's not a spare $428 million in this budget I've submitted."

County commissioners say they were promised the money for the grants last year, and the governor should follow through.

-By Carl Zornes

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