Jonesboro weighing lower tax exemption

— The Jonesboro City Council will consider removing a property tax exemption for some city residents Monday.

The council will hold a called meeting after its monthly work session at 6 p.m. in the meeting chambers at the Jonesboro Police Headquarters, 170 South Main St. The only item on the agenda is to “discuss/consider lowering the Homestead Exemption by Resolution.”

The council had been considering lowering the Homestead Exemption from $60,000 to $30,000 since 2011, but they had to wait on the Clayton County Legislative Delegation to introduce legislation which would call for a referendum on changing the exemption. The delegation never introduced that legislation during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions.

The city wanted to lower the Homestead Exemption because the $60,000 limit means businesses in the city have to carry the burden of paying Jonesboro’s property taxes. Lowering it would mean residents would have to share some of that burden.

The council must now pass a new resolution to request legislation because a new two-year legislative period is about to begin this month. Councilwoman Pat Sebo said the $30,000 limit is no longer set in stone so the council’s discussions at the called meeting will include a debate on what limit the exemption should be set.

Sebo added the council will go through a process, which will include seeking public comment, before council members sit down to take a vote on lowering the Homestead Exemption.

During the work session, the council will also discuss Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax-funded projects which will build sidewalks along Fayetteville Road and North Avenue, updating its police badges, setting a 2013 city holiday schedule, the annual reinstatement of all city employees and celebrations for Georgia Cities Week in April.