Friday, May 14, 2010

Governor Signs Senior Income Tax Cut, Eliminates State Portion of Property Tax

Governor Sonny Perdue announced May 12 that he has signed House Bill 1055, a bill that eliminates taxes on retirement income for senior citizens and eliminates the state portion of homeowner’s property taxes. The legislation also adjusts fees to help cover the actual costs of the services for which they are levied and includes a 1.45 percent hospital provider payment that will allow the state to draw down additional federal dollars and increase Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals and other providers.

“Signing this bill ensures a balanced budget and lays the groundwork for economic recovery,” said Governor Perdue. “We are creating an environment that encourages seniors to spend their retirement years and dollars in Georgia. We are also finally getting the state completely out of the property tax business and at the same time providing property tax relief for nearly all Georgians.”

The Governor championed the senior income tax cut during his successful 2006 re-election campaign. The tax cut would benefit more than 300,000 Georgians and make Georgia a more attractive location for retirees.

HB 1055 also eliminates the state portion of homeowners’ property taxes, an idea proposed by Governor Perdue during his 2008 State of the State address. The two tax cuts will provide almost $400 million in tax relief when fully implemented. The tax reductions will be phased in over five years beginning in 2012.

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