On March 9, MHF News reported that two bills creating a homestead exemption within Hampton had been introduced. Since then, senators introduced another three bills. Here is the latest update.
The proposed homestead exemptions would offer tax savings for homeowners within Hampton city limits. The city began levying a city property tax for the first time in decades last year.
Hampton Homestead Update
Homestead exemption bills require a 2/3-majority vote in both chambers then the governor’s signature. Finally, voters must approve the new homestead at the ballot box. For the city of Hampton, it is proposed for each homestead measure to appear on the November 2023 ballot. Several city council positions will also be on the ballot.
As of March 18, there are five homestead bills being considered for Hampton. Each bill would do the following:
- SB 289 – provides $50 thousand in homestead exemption for those both under 65 years of age and totally disabled.
- SB 305 – provides $50 thousand exemption for homeowners ages 68 & older.
- SB 306 – provides $25 thousand exemption for homeowners ages 62 but not yet 68.
- SB 290 – provides $15 thousand in exemption for all other homeowners.
- SB 309 – would create a frozen homestead for Hampton homeowners.
The initial bills, SB 289 & 290, passed the senate on March 16. They are now in the house for consideration. All bills must pass both chambers by March 29, the last day of this year’s session.
What’s In Each Bill?
Four of the five bills create different homestead exemptions with varying amounts. The exemptions would apply to city municipal taxes only. This is different from and does not affect the existing county homestead exemption. In 2022, Hampton levied a tax rate of 4.5 mills.
The proposed $50,000 exemption — for those ages 68 & older, or totally disabled and under 65 — would save homeowners $225 in property taxes. The $25,000 exemption for homeowners ages 62–67 would result in $112.50 in savings. Finally, the $15 thousand for all other homeowners would save $67.50 in taxes.
For the purpose of these calculations, they assume the current 4.5 millage rate. Tax savings would change if the city adopts a different millage rate.
The final bill, SB 309, does not create immediate savings but protects against future tax increases. The frozen exemption would freeze a Hampton homeowner’s city tax bill at the current amount. A future increase in property values would not increase the city tax. Only a change in the millage rate could affect it.
Henry County has had a frozen exemption in place since 2004. The frozen exemption saved homeowners over $21 million dollars last year.
Stay tuned for another update on the Hampton homestead bills following the end of session.
Featured image shows Georgia State Capitol. Wikimedia Commons photo.
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