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Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DeKalb residents will see lower tax rates, new credits in 2019

Various factors in DeKalb County are offsetting the impact that rising property values have on homeowners’ tax bills. They include credits resulting from the new EHOST sales tax and lower property tax rates, which work together to lower the amount residents will have to pay later this year.

Last year was the first year of EHOST, but it was implemented in April so 2019 is the first time this credit reflects a full year of the impact of residents paying more in sales tax to receive a break on property taxes.

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said EHOST will especially benefit elderly residents in older neighborhoods that are rising in popularly and experiencing skyrocketing property values.

“DeKalb County’s property tax relief plan will help mitigate the negative impact of rising home values and property taxes in our rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods,” he said.

The amount homeowners pay in taxes relies on a formula that includes the value of their property and tax rates set by counties, cities and school districts. Those amounts are offset by various exemptions and credits, including EHOST.

The EHOST 1% sales tax everything except food and drugs will result in $119 million in revenue passed on the homeowners. On average, DeKalb residents with homes valued at $250,000 will receive an $889 credit.

Prior to 2018, county residents had a similar .5% HOST sales tax in place and therefore the resulting tax credits were lower.

The DeKalb County commission signed off on property tax rates and midyear budget adjustments during a meeting Tuesday morning. The county kept the tax rate consistent for residents of unincorporated DeKalb and Stonecrest, but residents of 12 other cities will find their county tax rate is lower this year.

Related | Here’s how your property taxes in DeKalb could change this year

Commissioner Nancy Jester, who usually votes “no” on the budget, praised the process that resulted in the EHOST credits and declining tax rates.

She also noted that unlike previous years, the CEO’s office did not recommend sizable new spending projects that were not in the original budget approved in February.

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