House backs property tax compromise

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

January 27, 2009

ATLANTA (AP) -- House leaders are backing a proposal that could eliminate next year the homeowners property tax relief grant, which reduces property taxes by about $200 to $300 per homeowner.

The measure would guarantee the grant is funded this fiscal year, but in future years would tie it to the growth in state revenue. The measure would require the state's revenues to grow by at least 3 percent to continue.

Gov. Sonny Perdue cut the grant -- which costs the state about $428 million each year -- out of his spending plan to help close a $2.2 billion deficit.

Local governments are warning legislators that taxes likely will rise without the grants. The House proposal, authored by Republican state Rep. Larry O'Neal and backed by a slew of House leaders, aims to be a sort of compromise.

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