Legislators introduce bill to create Locust Grove homestead exemption

Photo of a red wooden house among other wooden houses (Adobe Stock photo).

State Representatives Holly and Knight introduced legislation to create a Locust Grove homestead exemption. The city council voted in January to request the local legislation.

House Bill 1399 would call for a voter referendum within the city to approve a new homestead exemption. Specifically, the proposed exemption would be valued at 100% of any municipal property tax.

Locust Grove Homestead Exemption

The city of Locust Grove does not presently levy a property tax. In addition, the city has no immediate plans to begin a property tax. The proposed homestead exemption is in preparation if the city ever needs to levy one.

A homestead exemption allows owner-occupants of residential property to reduce their property tax liability. The homestead exemption does not apply to commercial, industrial or rental properties.

The council voted in support of a 100% homestead exemption. The newly filed local legislation mirrors this request. If the legislation becomes law and voters approve it at the November ballot box, then homestead properties would pay $0 in municipal property taxes if Locust Grove ever starts a city property tax.

Presently, only the city of McDonough levies a municipal property tax in Henry County. This is in large part because they are the only municipality that provides both police and fire departments.

The proposed Locust Grove homestead exemption would not affect the existing Henry County homestead exemption. The county exemption reduces the assessed home value for county taxes by $15,000 and $4,000 for school taxes.

Locust Grove Tax Digest

The tax digest refers to the collective value of all property within a city or county. John Selfe, Chief Appraiser for Henry County Tax Assessor’s office, provided the Locust Grove city council with an overview of the city’s tax digest in January.

All values below reflect 2021 property values. The 2022 tax digest was not ready at the time of Mr. Selfe’s presentation.

The city’s tax digest consisted of the following:

  • Residential 57% (from which 48% presently receives the county homestead exemption)
  • Commercial 24%
  • Industrial 15%

For example, 57% of all property value within the city last year was residential purposes. The values above will not add to 100% because of other smaller uses, such as equipment.

For comparative purposes, a one-mill property tax with no exemption would generate $442 thousand in revenue for the city. With the proposed 100% exemption, a one-mill property tax would generate $323 thousand. These values are based on the 2021 property values and will change in the future.

Featured image shows a red wooden house among other wooden houses. Adobe Stock photo.

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About Clayton 936 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of Moving Henry Forward Community News. Since 2017, he has written over 900 articles sharing local updates with the community. Now, in 2022, he is running for Georgia State House District 117 to advocate for Henry County at the State Capitol.