|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||
Contact: J.D. Easley
|Thursday, January 31, 2013||
Rep. Brett Harrell Introduces Property Protection Bill
“Too often citizens across Georgia experience increased property tax bills, higher monthly mortgage payments, and, in some cases, liens against their property, all resulting from the addition of nontax fees added to their property tax bills,” said Rep. Harrell. “The type and number of fees continues to increase each year. This legislation will help ease the burden on Georgia households and increase government transparency.”
Harrell’s bill, originally introduced in 2011 with nearly 60 co-signers, simply says “no property tax bill issued by the tax commissioner … shall include any non-tax related fees or assessments….” Upon becoming law no property tax bill in Georgia could include any non-tax related fees or assessments.
This legislation addresses a growing concern among property owners across the state. As home prices remain low and Georgians carefully budget, property owners continue to face increasing property tax bills. This is often due to non-tax fees. For example, though millage rates and property value assessments may not change, non-tax fees for local expenses like street lights, speed humps, storm water, and sanitation can add hundreds of dollars to a property tax bill. In fact, it is not uncommon for as much as 15-20 percent of a total property tax bill to originate from non-tax fees.
Further, while property owners can legally deduct property taxes from their income taxes, the IRS has indicated that these non-tax fees are not tax deductible. The inclusion of these non-tax fees on property tax bills, therefore, increases the opportunity for Georgia residents to accidently file erroneous income tax returns. HB 159 would solve this problem clearly distinguishing that property taxes and only property taxes appear on property tax bills.
For more information on HB 159, please click here.
Representative Brett Harrell represents citizens of District 106, which includes portions of portions of the City of Snellville, Grayson, Lawrenceville, and Loganville in Gwinnett County. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2010 and currently serves as the Vice Chairman on the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committee. He also serves on the Regulated Industries, Transportation, and Ways & Means committees.