Hampton city residents could see tax relief in November 2024, following initial steps passed by the city council during a special called meeting on Tuesday, January 3. The city is asking state legislators to pass a local homestead exemption.
If legislators approve the bill during their upcoming session, then voters would have to approve the exemption in November 2023. The homestead exemption would apply to city property taxes.
Hampton Homestead Exemption
The Hampton city council approved a property tax last fall to balance their annual budget. The tax — measuring 4.5 mills — was the first city property tax since the 1970s. The tax raised an estimated $1.1 million dollars for the current year.
The proposed homestead exemption would reduce homeowners’ tax bills by $152,000. If all steps are approved, then homeowners would see these savings beginning in fall 2024. The proposed exemption includes the following:
- $15,000 in exemptions for all homeowners, worth $68 in savings based on the current tax rate,
- $25,000 in exemptions for homeowners over ages 62 and 65, worth $113 in savings presently, and
- $50,000 in exemptions for homeowners over the age of 68 and those with disabilities, worth $225 presently.
The city council voted 4-2 to approve the request for a homestead exemption. Council members Barlow and Cleveland voted in opposition. Prior to the vote, council member Byrd proposed a 100% exemption for those aged 68 or older. His proposal died for lack of a second.
In addition, the council also requested the legislature include a frozen exemption. The frozen exemption — in place for county taxes since 2004 — protects homeowners from escalating property values. The “freeze” increases a homeowner’s exemption year-to-year so that the amount paid in county or city taxes remains constant. The present-day Henry County frozen exemption does not apply to school board taxes.
Members of the Georgia General Assembly convene for their annual session beginning next Monday, January 9. The session typically lasts until early April. Local representatives will consider sponsoring the Hampton homestead exemption. State Senator Emanuel Jones and Rep. Karen Mathiak represent the city of Hampton at the Capitol.
If the legislature approves the bill and Governor Kemp signs it, then voters within the city of Hampton would see a referendum in November for final approval.
Featured image shows wood houses. Stock photo.
Support Local Journalism
Subscribe to MHF News and support local journalism in the Henry County community.
You’ll receive access to all of our news articles.