The state general assembly approved final passage on several local bills during Wednesday morning, March 29. The bills include proposed homestead exemptions for the city of Hampton, as well as two new authorities for Henry County. The bills now await the governor’s signature.
The Hampton homestead bills each require a November voter referendum. City residents will see these ballot questions alongside the council election.
Altogether, five senate bills comprise the Hampton homestead. They include 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 bills would introduce property tax savings for homeowners. The savings would take effect beginning in 2024 if voters approve the ballot questions in November. Based on the city’s current millage rate, a homeowner who qualifies for the standard exemption would save $67.50 annually.
New Authority Bills
Two local acts requested by Henry County have also passed. They are to create two new authorities: the Henry County Facilities Authority and Airport Authority. The house passed the measures on Thursday, March 23, followed by the senate on Wednesday, March 29. The county can begin to appoint board members to each authority following the governor’s signature.
Both authorities will provide additional funding mechanisms for county projects. As an authority, the new group will be able to issue revenue bonds. Revenue bonds allow for the financing of capital projects without requiring voter approval. This is in contrast to general obligation bond debt incurred by the county. General obligation bonds require voter approval.
The building authority can provide funding should the county move forward with building a new courthouse. The authority would then lease the building to the county at a cost equal to the annual bonds repayment. The airport authority can finance projects such as a runway extension, taxiway improvement or new hanger space. Finally, the airport authority will be eligible to receive funding under the federal bipartisan infrastructure law.
Featured image shows the Georgia State Capitol. Wikimedia Commons photo.
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