County expects to receive delayed Homestead Tax Relief Grants
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Morgan County resident property owners—all 4,075 of them—can expect to see the state Homestead Tax Relief Grant (HTRG) appear as expected on their tax bills this fall.
Governor Sonny Perdue had intimated in early August that the tax credits might go the way of the wind in light of the states $1.6-billion shortfall this year. But though the state may withhold payment of those grants to the county for a while, county officials ultimately expect to be reimbursed for those grants next spring.
“What we’re hearing from the ACCG (Association of County Commissioners of Georgia) at this point…is that the determination [to rescind the funds] has to be made by the state legislature,” said county manager Michael Lamar in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “And it looks like [the receipt of the monies] will probably just be delayed.”
Accordingly, the county will include the tax credit in its fall property tax notifications.
According to the ACCG Web site, counties could have to cover the cost of the grant themselves if the state ultimately doesn’t come up with the cash.
“If the state’s financial situation continues to deteriorate and the General Assembly is unable to honor the reimbursement, counties will have to fund the cost of the credit out of their own budget or bill the taxpayer for a refund of credit,” according to www.accg.org.
The total credits for Morgan County homesteaders—property owners for whom Morgan County is their primary place of residence—total between $150,000 and $200,000, according to Lamar.