Gov. Nathan Deal has laid the foundation for residents to consider approving a means to reduce their property taxes.
Deal signed a bill allowing the county to place a referendum on the November ballot where residents can vote on imposing a homestead option sales tax, or HOST.
An additional penny would be paid by residents to reduce the amount of property taxes paid. The HOST does not roll back property taxes for the fire district or school property taxes.
Ahrens has said the extra money could generate roughly $30 million in tax revenues a year that could be applied to approximately 49,000 residential properties receiving the $5,000 homestead exemption, according to the Cherokee Tribune.
“This is a great example of planning and execution,” Ahrens said.
The county began planning its request for local legislation in December and had the full support of Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), who sponsored the legislation.
Ahrens said the county will educate the public between the July 31 primary and the Nov. 6 election.
Counties are allowed to use up to 20 percent of HOST proceeds for capital projects, which would leave the county with 80 percent, or roughly $24 million, to increase homestead exemptions, the Tribune reported.