Skip to Content

Property taxes jump thousands of dollars for seniors

By Savannah Louie

Click here for updates on this story

    ATLANTA, Georgia (WGCL) — A bill in the mail feels like a slap in the face for some Decatur residents.

William Edge, a senior in Decatur, described himself as a “legacy citizen” after living in the same home for 25 years and pouring thousands of dollars into local businesses. But new restrictions on a senior tax exemption make him feel like an unwanted stranger in the neighborhood.

“I just don’t know what to do,” said Edge. “They’re taking me from $2300 a year to more than $7000 a year on the same property.”

All seniors in Decatur have been exempt from school property taxes for the past couple years, but the rules changed in 2022.

Seniors 65 to 69 years old with a gross income more than $53,000 no longer qualify for the homestead exemption. Edge, who is retired on a fixed income, falls into this age and income bracket.

“They enacted the exemption and realized, ‘Oh gosh, we made a horrible mistake and we’re going to be underfunded by millions of dollars,’” explained Edge.

Seniors 65 to 69 years old with a gross income less than $53,000 qualify for an exemption on $200,000 of assessed home value. An eligible property owner with a house worth $600,000 would deduct $200,000 from the 50 percent rate automatically taken off by the city of Decatur. This resident would pay taxes on the remaining $100,000.

Funds benefit Decatur public schools.

Salome Baslandze, a mother with a 5th grade student, said she sees costs and benefits over the change.

“Obviously the benefits will be more funding and better education. More inclusivity so we can better serve more kids with higher quality education,” said Baslandze.

However, she shared concerns over older neighbors feeling pushed out of the neighborhood.

“It will decrease diversity of the environment and make it only families with kids in schools who live here,” she said.

Salome Baslandze, a mother with a 5th grade student, said she sees costs and benefits over the change.

“Obviously the benefits will be more funding and better education. More inclusivity so we can better serve more kids with higher quality education,” said Baslandze.

However, she shared concerns over older neighbors feeling pushed out of the neighborhood.

“It will decrease diversity of the environment and make it only families with kids in schools who live here,” she said.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION

KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content