Governor signs Stockbridge & Locust Grove local bills

Map of Stockbridge annexation 2022 final revisions (Georgia photo).
(Georgia Legislative & Reapportionment Office photo)

Governor Kemp has signed two pieces of local legislation. They are the proposed annexation in Stockbridge and proposed homestead exemption in Locust Grove. Both call for voter referendums in November to take effect.

Stockbridge annexation

The Stockbridge annexation — referred to as senate bill 612 — underwent several revisions before reaching the governor’s desk. The original proposal would have asked 23,000 residents to consider joining the city. Instead, community feedback led to a much-smaller area up for consideration. The final bill would add about 6,600 new residents to the city.

Areas proposed for annexation include the following:

  • the Red Oak Road community between I-75 and Rock Quarry Road
  • Properties north of Eagles Landing Parkway between I-75 and Trade Center Parkway
  • Subdivisions off Speer Road and state route 138
  • Communities north of existing city limits north of downtown Stockbridge to Valley Hill Road

Moving Henry Forward will provide a scalable map showing the annexation areas before the November vote. At least 50% of voters in the proposed area must approve the referendum for the annexation to pass.

Benefits of the annexation include the following:

  • a slightly lower property tax bill for city residents (as of 2021),
  • a vote for mayor and council, and
  • city services like the new Stockbridge Police Department.

In addition, the bill calls for city council districts beginning with the November 2023 municipal election. If the annexation passes, then the city will start to elect council members from one of five districts. Presently, all council members are elected at-large.

Locust Grove homestead exemption

Residents within the city limits of Locust Grove will be asked whether to approve a new homestead exemption. The proposed exemption would measure 100% on any city property tax on owner-occupied homes.

The measure seeks to save homeowners money in the future should Locust Grove ever need a property tax. The city does not presently levy a property tax. To further clarify, the vote is not whether Locust Grove should levy a tax. The vote’s passage will not raise property taxes for city residents, but rather protect homestead properties from any future tax.

The homestead exemption would have no effect on the existing countywide exemptions for Henry County or Henry County Schools.

Both the Locust Grove homestead exemption and Stockbridge annexation will appear on the November 2022 ballot. But, don’t forget voters have an upcoming primary on May 24. Early voting starts on Monday, May 2. Be sure and vote in the primary for US Senate, governor, statewide officers, state house and senate, and local positions.

Featured image shows the proposed Stockbridge annexation map. Photo credit Georgia Legislative & Reapportionment office.

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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.