New Legislation Gives Georgia Seniors a Tax Break

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Roland Kurtz is a retiree from Lakeland, Florida and says he and his wife moved to Thomasville for some peace and quiet. New legislation signed by Gov. Perdue will give seniors like Kurtz a state property tax exemption.

Roland Kurtz said, "It has everything. It's just a beautiful state and I think that's terrific to give us a break. It should help attract seniors."

Members of the Chamber of Commerce said people are cashing out and moving to Georgia, especially from their number one feeder state of Florida.

Don Sims, President of the Chamber of Commerce, said, "Now with income tax incentives we've seen a lot of people taking advantage of up to $70,000 off their Georgia income tax, and now with these property taxes it becomes a very compelling reason to move."

Kurtz said the tax breaks for seniors are a welcome change.

"It's certainly helpful, particularly for seniors, that on the other side of taxes is the cost of medical care. So if we get a break on taxes with some of those other things, it's terrific."

Perdue estimates the tax exemption revenue impact will be between six and seven million.

The governor said it's a way to say thank you to the senior community. The tax exemption will appear on the November ballot. If approved by voters, it will be effective January 1, 2007.