A photo of the Georgia State Capitol at night on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Photo by: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice

Thursday morning, the Georgia House of Representatives approved a $1 billion income tax break and a $1 billion property tax break as part of a mid-year budget package. The House Appropriations Committee Chairman Matt Hatchett said the property tax break will discount each homeowner currently owes on their property taxes. However, the cities and counties will not lose any money from the collections of said property taxes because the tax break is funded through state-funded revenues. 

The bill now heads to the Georgia State Senate for more debate.

The income tax breaks would give back an estimated $250-$500. Also, the property tax breaks are estimated to be $500.

“This will be a great support for our look for our homeowners and the families across the state,” said House Speaker Jon Burns. “I’m very much supportive of this and I know this on the issue that will put money back into hardworking Georgians’ pockets and help them continue to have a good standard of living.”

Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns speaks to members of the press after Day 12 of the Legislative Session on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at the Georgia State Capitol. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“This budget and $2 million in new revenue go a long way toward meeting the needs of Georgians,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Matt Hatchett, R-Dublin.

During his inaugural address, Governor Brian Kemp proposed increasing spending in the current budget year by $2.4 billion, largely to pay for two billion-dollar tax givebacks, and then to maintain spending in next year’s budget, funding $2,000 pay increases for all state and university employees and public school teachers. By law, Governor Kemp sets the number that the Legislature can spend. 

Plus, the budget calls for $100 million to be spent on employee health insurance to aid with the rise of health insurance premiums for public school districts. It would also spend $14.5 million to give one-time $250 bonus payments to 55,000 retired state employees.

Additionally, House lawmakers approved Governor Kemp’s request to fully fund Georgia’s Quality Basic Education K-12 student formula (QBE), at $12.4 billion. 

“You know, the cost of local education continues to be a huge commitment from the House and from the General Assembly and from the governor to support local education,” Burns said. “And QBE is a formula that we’ve used over the years to support local education. And I don’t see any changes in that but it’s something we’ll continue to look at though. There may be some modifications that need to be made with QBE as we support local governments, as they provide education to our K-12 students.”

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...