I don’t know which I enjoy more, press releases from Georgia’s state legislators or the legislation they lie about in their press releases.
Incumbent members are telling the folks back home they saved the homestead exemption tax despite the flagging economy.
But the text of House Bill 143, passed by both bodies and signed by the governor, plainly states that homeowners will get homestead tax relief unless they don’t.
The fix is in for 2009, but if the state doesn’t have the money to reimburse cities, counties and school boards for the tax relief, the state doesn’t have to pay. The state can, but it doesn’t have to.
And for future years, maybe so, maybe not. It depends. I’m not making this stuff up. Read it for yourself, though, fair warning, you’ll have to read the bill more than once unless you’re considerably above average. I’m betting most legislators think they really did vote to save the exemption.
The best part is at the end of Section 1: “When funds are not appropriated … (local governments)… shall not include a notice on each tax bill regarding the unavailability of the credit.”
Don’t ask. Don’t tell. And keep those press releases rolling.