School Property Tax for Seniors Updated
To HCPOA Membership:
You may recall that HCPOA has been working since 2018 at increasing or even eliminating the school property tax for seniors. All members of the BOE were at best uninterested and some just plain hostile. Their regular stance for all practical purposes was where are we going to get the money? Nevertheless we persevered with attending BOE meetings, phone calls, visits and urging the HC GOP to submit a ballot initiative for the 2020 primary (it passed by 85%). Actually that money comes from the same people, whom HCPOA is trying to assist by reducing their tax burden.
The biggest breakthrough came when we engineered a meeting between Supt. Floyd, Rep. Alan Powell, and two HCPOA members. The discussion was productive and actually focused on tax issues and process. We were quite satisfied. It is probably true that Alan Powell's efforts after the meeting until the passage were the key to success.
During the January BOE meeting, the resolution to raise the senior exemption on education tax $5000 was made. It was essentially an agenda item. Vote was 4-0 (Mrs. Cleary absent). There was no discussion of any sort by any board member. The comments attributed to Ms. Pierce by the Hartwell Sun were made at the meeting by Supt. Floyd.
When effective, the combined BOC/BOE homestead tax exemption should reduce qualified property tax about $100 or millage rate X $5000. The problem with merely increasing the exemption by a few thousand dollars is that the relative value quickly decreases with increasing assessments; using a percent of the assessment would maintain much of the value.
HCPOA will continue to focus on various tax issues in the future. Thanks for your membership.
Bill Fogerty, President HCPOA