A number of Georgia officials are heading to China next week to find opportunities for local businesses and build relationships with investors. I’m proud to see that Georgia continues to be an attractive business destination for companies both within the US and abroad.
Over the next few weeks, I’d like to highlight a few new local leaders from around the state. My friends in House District 51 (Sandy Springs) will elect a new state representative in November to replace the retiring Wendell Willard (who will be missed greatly!). They have an excellent choice in Republican nominee Alex Kaufman, an Emory Law graduate who has worked for Sonny Perdue and the Fulton County Superior Court. Alex lives in Roswell and works for a law firm in Sandy Springs, so he understands Fulton county and its issues. He’s married and is involved in community organizations like Roswell Rotary Club and The Star House Foundation. He coaches a high school mock trial team and is a Braves/UGA football fan. I encourage those who live in his district to learn about Alex, as I hope he will serve the citizens of Georgia for many years.
Georgia’s new hands-free cell phone law went into effect this week. Holding the phone is prohibited unless you are legally parked. Drivers are allowed to use GPS, voice-to-text features and can make and receive phone calls hands-free. Georgia is the 15th state to implement a similar law. Distracting driving accidents, and deaths, are up sharply over the past several years, and this change will help save lives.
Early voting begins today for statewide and local office run-off elections. Here’s the Fulton County Republican ballot.
Like fellow Fulton County homeowners, my husband and I received our notice of reassessment. Wow! Forty percent increase, which is better than last year’s, but that’s small solace. Properties were reassessed at an average increase of 33% across the county. I encourage you to appeal if you believe your assessed value is out of line. North Fulton legislators worked together this session to pass tax relief through homestead exemptions that will appear on the November ballot. If passed, north Fulton school board, city and county property taxes will be subject to rolling homestead exemptions. Taxpayers will be the winners – finally! Although these measures cannot take effect until 2019 (we could not hold referendums in time), they are critical to giving homeowners predictability and affordable property taxes. If approved by voters, reassessments will be reset and “frozen” at the lowest assessed value of 2016, 2017 or 2018 as long as homeowners own their homes. Homes purchased after 2018 will be...READ MORE
The Georgia General Assembly made school safety an even higher priority this legislative session. We added $16 million to the state budget to enhance local school board security measures. Additionally, the House created a study committee on school security to evaluate where we are as a state and our next steps. The House Study Committee on School Security held its first meeting in Dawson County earlier this week. The members and presenters discussed ways our state is leading the charge on better school climates, in addition to new programs or resources that will allow our schools to improve even more. Georgia is committed to safe schools for students and teachers, and this study committee is the next step as we explore all options. I want to thank all school administrators and law enforcement officials for participating in these meetings to make Georgia a safer place to live, work, and study. You can read more in the AJC here: https://www.myajc.com/news/local-education/house-school-safety-committee-has-first-meeting/tqbwNFqJOON5iJUwQtF4nI/
As we look back on the 2018 legislative session in Georgia, I believe Republicans have made a real difference for families. We’ve made progress in many different areas, and we’re going to do much more. Put more money in people’s pockets by encouraging job creation and higher wages Georgia earned national distinction as best place to do business for five years running (Site Selection Magazine). New business and small business creation, expansion by existing businesses, and strong relocation growth to create and provide jobs. More Georgians working today and wages growing faster than national average. Passed legislation cutting state personal and corporate income tax rates from 6% to 5.75% in 2019 and 5.5% in 2020. Provided first state income tax reduction since implemented in 1934. Invested in infrastructure to fuel a more prosperous future: ◦ Atlanta airport ranked first worldwide in passenger volume since 2000 and continues expanding. ◦ Committed funding to deepen Savannah port, ranked fourth nationally by container...READ MORE
The House Budget Office has released a seven-page overview of HB 684, the state budget for fiscal year 2019. It can be found here.
Read more about homestead exemptions in Fulton County here in the AJC.
The Georgia General Assembly gave final passage to six bills that provide extensive protection to homeowners in north Fulton against massive property tax reassessments. Representative Jan Jones authored several of the bills and co-sponsored the rest. The legislation expands current protections for the Fulton County portion of property tax bills and for city of Sandy Springs residents. The bills add protections for the Fulton County School Board portion of property tax bills and the portions for the cities of Roswell, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Milton and Mountain Park. The new homestead exemptions for the cities and school system essentially freezes homeowners’ assessments for purposes of taxation at the 2016 level and allows for increases up to three percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. Homestead exemptions remain in place as long as homeowners own their homes. Upon the sale of a home, the more current assessment takes effect and becomes the new “frozen” level. “I was determined to protect...READ MORE