Schools to keep property taxing power

Tue, 03/04/2008 - 11:51am
By: The Citizen

Bill instead will get rid of auto ad valorem taxes

A bill that would have stripped the power of local school boards to collect property tax revenues has officially been amended by House Speaker Glenn Richardson, The Citizen has learned.

Richardson's plan initially was to replace the property taxes with a slate of new sales and use taxes, including those on services and food where the state currently collects no sales tax.

Instead, the newly-amended bill will eliminate ad valorem taxes on automobiles in Georgia. That, according to state Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City) would save taxpayers $1 billion in 2010 and 2011 combined.

"It would be the largest tax cut in state history," said Ramsey, who said he supports the newly-amended bill, which would require the state to "make whole" the county, city and school agencies that would lose ad valorem revenues.

The bill, which will be voted on by the House of Representatives Wednesday, would require approval by voters in a November referendum, Ramsey noted.

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