County tax commissioner Lamar Dalton told commissioners Jan. 9 that he’d like to see elderly property taxpayers in the county get a break.
Dalton said he hears all the time from people without kids who want to be exempted from paying school taxes. He says he sees no way to offset the loss of revenue for the county that such a move would entail, especially as the county has annually run a budget deficit over $1 million in recent years.
However, he said he would like to see the oldest residents, perhaps those 80 or over, in the county get a tax exemption. He estimated 500 to 525 county taxpaying residents over 80 with an estimated $60 loss in county revenue per person. But he said the impact of such an action needs further study.
Dalton asked the commissioners to consider appointing one of its members to serve on a committee to study the matter. The tax commissioner also said he plans to ask all tax-levying boards in the county for representation on the committee, as well as citizens.
If the county decides to move forward with the exemption, a resolution would have to be approved by the Georgia General Assembly in 2018, with a referendum before county voters coming later that year.
In a separate, the board briefly discussed the county land use plan. Madison County planners want to see growth along highway corridors, not sporadically through the county. That basic principle has been a focal point of the update of the county land use plan, which is expected to be completed by June.
The county is continuing to move the process along and will now submit a written plan to the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission. County commissioners voted Monday to allocate $7,500 to have the regional commission draft the plan. Public hearings will still be held. And the plan will be made available online before the BOC takes any vote.
John Scarborough (L) took office last week as the new chairman of the Madison County Board of Commissioners. He is pictured with Anthony Dove, who served as chairman from 2009-2016.
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