Georgia House passes $32.5 billion midyear budget with property tax break

Georgia House Appropriations Chairman Matt Hatchett says he hopes that when the state Senate starts working on the midyear budget, it will find additional money for one-time bonuses to be given to 54,000 state government pensioners. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Georgia House Appropriations Chairman Matt Hatchett says he hopes that when the state Senate starts working on the midyear budget, it will find additional money for one-time bonuses to be given to 54,000 state government pensioners. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

The Georgia House on Thursday backed Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to provide a property tax cut of about $1 billion as part of the state’s midyear spending plan.

House members have already filed legislation to also provide a $1 billion income tax rebate that Kemp has proposed.

The House voted 170-1 on Thursday for a $32.5 billion midyear budget, which runs through June 30. It builds on consecutive years of massive tax surpluses the state has seen since the COVID-19 economic shutdown ended in the spring of 2020. It increases spending by about $2.36 billion, or 7.8%.

The midyear spending plan now heads to the Senate for its consideration.

If given final approval, homeowners would receive an extra one-time exemption on the value of their homes at tax time, a move that Kemp said last month would save those Georgians, on average, about $500.

Kemp proposed a $20,000 exemption on the taxable value of homes. The state constitution allows only up to an $18,000 exemption, so homeowners may get a little less than $500, on average.

Under legislation the House is considering and Kemp proposed, many Georgians would also receive an income tax rebate, as they did last year — $500 per married couple who file jointly.

The midyear budget also includes $139 million to provide each school with a $60,000 safety grant, and it would increase spending in dozens of other areas, such as health care, rural workforce housing development and public safety.

The House added money to give 54,000 state government pensioners one-time bonuses of $250 to $300. House Appropriations Chairman Matt Hatchett, R-Dublin, said he is hoping the Senate will find money to add to those bonuses.

“We consider this an opening bid,” Hatchett said.

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