Georgia tax cut bills sail through House without opposition

Income, property and child tax cuts advance amid big surplus
Rep. Lauren Daniel, R-Locust Grove, supports increasing the child tax deduction in the Georgia House on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

Rep. Lauren Daniel, R-Locust Grove, supports increasing the child tax deduction in the Georgia House on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Georgians would save money on the income and property taxes they pay under bills that cleared the state House on Thursday.

The House voted unanimously to reduce income tax rates, raise the amount of the child income tax deduction and increase homestead exemptions.

Lawmakers pushed for the tax cuts, which would save Georgians hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes, as the General Assembly divvies up some of the state’s $16 billion in “rainy day” and undesignated reserves.

“Cutting taxes and returning more money to taxpayers continues to be a priority,” said House Speaker Jon Burns, a Republican from Newington. “These priorities will deliver significant relief to taxpayers across the state, put more money back into their pockets and continue to boost our economy.”

The income tax proposal, which is supported by Gov. Brian Kemp, would shrink the state’s tax rate from 5.49% to 5.39% this year. The measure, House Bill 1015, amounts to about a $300 million benefit for taxpayers.

Lawmakers previously approved gradually dropping the state’s income tax rate two years ago, from 5.75% to 4.99% by 2029.

The House also passed bills that would increase the child income tax deduction from $3,000 to $4,000 and double the state homestead exemption from $2,000 to $4,000.

With her infant strapped to her chest in the House, state Rep. Lauren Daniel said the child tax deduction, House Bill 1021, will help families across Georgia.

“With the rising cost of groceries, child care costs and numerous other things that parents are responsible for, this will once again prove that the people of Georgia are looking for pro-family policies and we are leading the way,” said Daniel, a Republican from Locust Grove.

The increase in the homestead exemption could save Georgia homeowners roughly $100 a year on their taxes, said state Rep. Matt Reeves, a Republican from Duluth. The value of the exemption will vary depending on local tax rates and laws.

”This bill supports the American dream of homeownership in Georgia,” Reeves said of House Bill 1019.

The last time Georgia increased the state homestead exemption was in 1978, when the average value of a home was $55,000, Reeves said. Today, the average home in Georgia is valued at $315,000, according to the real estate website Zillow.

All three bills now advance to the state Senate.

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