ATLANTA — On Thursday, the Georgia House approved $1 billion worth of property tax breaks and now the Senate will vote next.
And that’s on top of another $1 billion in state income tax breaks that are in the works.
Taxpayers, worn down by inflation, are wanting to know how that translates into cash for their bank accounts.
Thursday night, during the cold, steady winter rain, the warm Waffle House smile of Brandon Smith was welcoming customers inside.
Smith—working and striving, for better, for his future.
He had just heard about the state income tax break that the legislature may soon finalize, amounting to potentially $250 per taxpayer.
Any amount, Smith said, is welcome now.
“Well, for me, I’m not even gonna lie,” Smith said, “I’m a hard worker, so I get up and go get it, it ain’t too tough on me. But it is a little lack-ish, you know. 250, that’s a big help.”
State legislative leaders are putting together an income tax break similar to last year’s:
- $250-dollars for an individual filer
- $500 for a couple filing jointly
And they’re also moving forward with plans for a rare, and one-time-only property tax break:
- An additional $18,000 homestead exemption for homeowners, which would amount to an average of about $500 back in their pockets.
“The intention of this legislation is for residential property owners, and for those who use that property for their personal residence,” said Jonathan Levens, with Moore Colson CPA in Atlanta.
He said the two tax breaks—costing the state more than $2 billion in all -- will likely start reaching income tax filers and property owners across Georgia this summer and into the fall.
Back at the Waffle House, Daniel Barr, finishing his dinner at a booth, figured his parents, who own a home, could end up with an extra $1,000 -- $500 because they file income tax returns jointly, and $500 from the property tax cut.
He said it's not exactly like winning the lottery, but, “Anything helps, I’m sure it will help a lot of people. We could always use the help.”
“Doesn't necessarily seem like a lot of money to some people,” Levens said. “But when I think you spread it out across the population, particularly in light of what we're all experiencing with rising inflation, with the cost of living that has dramatically gone up over the past year to 18 months, I think it could really provide a benefit for a lot of people.”
The details of the tax cut plans will be decided in the legislature by the end of next month.