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Senate Leader Wants to Scrap Property Tax
Tuesday, 08 December 2009

December 8--  Georgia’s property tax system is under a microscope and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) is leading the Georgia Senate to find greater protections for property owners and taxpayers.  Recently, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution (AJC) ran a series of investigative reports of which Sen. Rogers applauds their efforts. 

“The outstanding investigative work by AJC reporters Bennett and Perry confirm what I have stated for years - the property tax system in Georgia is a broken relic of a 19th century economy. It is filled with inequities and human based error. The single best action we can take is to scrap it altogether in favor of a model based on our 21st century economy. If not, the least we can do is systematically remove flaws that produce inherent unfairness,” said Rogers.

 The Legislature passed a number of important measures to protect property owners last session.  Property tax assessments were capped at 0% for two years (HB 233).  This means no local government can raise taxes through the back-door tax increase of “increased assessment” for the next two years. The Legislature enforced true assessed property values by requiring all distressed properties be considered when determining local values (SB 55).  In order for property owners to have a fair chance at appeal, Rogers sponsored the New Expedited and Cost Effective Process of Appeals of Assessment (SB 240) that places the burden of proof on the government, not the property owner. Finally, property owners also must now receive a Notice of Right to File Return with every tax bill (HB 304).  

Rogers is currently chairing a committee that is looking into further property tax reform focused on protecting property owners and taxpayers.  The committee is evaluating the assessment process for both individual and corporate property taxes in Georgia.  The committee was created last session to address fluctuating property values due to the decline in Georgia’s economy.  Rogers plans on introducing additional legislation this session.

The next Property Tax Assessment Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 1:00 – 3:30 PM at the State Capitol in room 450. 


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