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CSD Statement on SB 292 (senior homestead exemption legislation)

Georgia Legislature Passes Decatur Homestead Exemption Bill 

The City Schools of Decatur Board of Education is pleased to announce the passage of Senate Bill 292, which replaces the expiring Senior Homestead Exemption. The Board would like to thank the bill’s sponsor, Senator Elena Parent, for her work on getting this bill through the legislative process. 

 

SB 292 provides tax relief for Decatur seniors by providing an exemption on $200,000 of assessed home value ($400,000 of appraised value) for seniors aged 65-69, if their combined household income does not exceed $53,000 (80 percent of the median income for the Atlanta area). Seniors aged 70 and above will also receive the same exemption on $200,000 of assessed home value ($400,000 of appraised value) but without an income cap. The original language of the bill included a five-year sunset to allow for future re-evaluation but during the legislative process the legislators shortened it to a two-year sunset. 

 

In related news, the CSD Board reached a compromise with DeKalb County Schools and offered its support for Senate Bill 293 (a bill which provides “conditions upon the expansion of the boundaries of the City of Decatur independent school systems that are extended by annexation by the City of Decatur”) so that this senior homestead exemption could move forward.

 

Background

Since the original bill’s passage on April 16, 2016, the Board has studied the effects of the exemption on the district’s budget and the original objective of the senior exemption -- to provide tax relief to seniors and help them afford to age in place. This included commissioning a study by Georgia State University evaluating the impact of property tax exemptions on the CSD’s tax digest. Click here for more information about the Senior Homestead Exemption.

 

Next Steps

Once SB 292 has been signed by Governor Kemp, the exemptions will be on the November 2021 ballot. If approved by Decatur voters, the exemptions will go into effect on January 1, 2022 and remain in effect through 2023. Due to the last-minute decrease in the sunset provision, the Board will work with the DeKalb delegation to address that in a future legislative session.

 

Thank you for your continued support of our Decatur senior community members, and we look forward to seeing this question on the ballot in November.