Senate passes Perdue's plan for property tax cut

Associated Press
Gov. Sonny Perdue (left) was introduced by House Speaker Glenn Richardson before giving his State of the State Address to a joint session of the General Assembly in January. Mr. Perdue's elimination of the state portion of property taxes was an idea of former Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor.

ATLANTA --- Gov. Sonny Perdue's plan to erase the state portion of property taxes in Georgia sailed through the state Senate on Thursday.


The plan would amend the state constitution to eliminate the state ad valorem tax that residents pay on their property and automobiles.

County taxes -- which make up the bulk of property tax bills -- would continue in effect. It passed 49-4.

The $94 million tax cut must still be approved by a two-thirds vote in the House and by voters at the ballot box.

The property tax portion of the plan is expected to mean an average savings of about $30 per household.

The proposal was originally floated by former Democratic Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor in his unsuccessful 2006 bid to unseat Mr. Perdue.

A spokesman for Mr. Perdue called the Senate vote "an important first step toward getting state government out of the property tax business."

"Eliminating the state portion of property tax will be a clear tax cut for Georgia's homeowners," Bert Brantley said.

The chamber also approved a pair of measures that would cap the amount by which home assessments could rise.