Rogers to speak on possible property tax reduction
by Kristal Dixon
kdixon@cherokeetribune.com
September 08, 2012 12:00 AM | 1418 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) on Sunday will discuss a proposed sales tax that would be used to roll back property taxes in Cherokee County if voters give it the go-ahead.

Rogers will talk about the Homestead Option Sales Tax, or HOST, with members of the Cherokee Tea Party Patriots at 4 p.m. at Latimer Hall in downtown Woodstock.

The proposed HOST will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot for local voters to consider.

The 1 percent sales tax is used to increase the homestead exemptions to qualified properties both in unincorporated Cherokee County and in its cities, which reduces the amount of property taxes paid.

The tax would be charged on the same items as state sales taxes are charged on, with the addition of groceries.

The HOST does not roll back property taxes for the fire district or school property taxes. Creation and termination of the tax can only be done by referendum.

Conrad Quagliaroli, the leader of the tea party, said he and other members of the organization want to hear more about the

proposal.

When asked what his views are on the proposal, Quagliaroli said he would prefer a HOST tax if it’s “workable.”

“I’m inclined toward a consumption tax as opposed to a property tax or an income tax,” he said.

However, he added he would not want to see the millage rate for unincorporated Cherokee rise with the sales tax in place, which he said that’s the “danger” of enacting such a plan.

Quagliaroli added he expects to see between 125 and 150 people attend the meeting, which he said is a normal occurrence.

Last year, the county commission began discussing whether it wanted to move forward with requesting authority to ask voters to consider either a HOST or a Local Option Sales Tax.

While both are similar, a LOST would allow for property tax reductions for all county properties and does not allow for receipts to be used toward capital.

Under the HOST, 20 percent can be used for capital, but the commission is looking at a resolution to mark the total amount collected to roll back property taxes.

The LOST also calls for the county and the cities to agree how much would be distributed to the municipalities. Cobb, Gwinnett and Cherokee are the only counties that have neither a LOST nor HOST in place.

HOST allows for the county to first apply the roll back to residential properties that qualify for the homestead and any excess receipts would then be applied pro rata to other classes of properties, such as commercial or farm land.

The HOST is expected to generate about $30 million per year and up to 20 percent can be used for capital expenditures.

However, the commission said it would waive that allowance and use 100 percent of the revenue to solely roll back property taxes.
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Joan McIntosh
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September 20, 2012
From what facts I am able to gather from the above article, it appears that HOST would roll back taxes on those citizens availing themselves of Homestead Exemption, thus lowering the property taxes for those persons.

This certainly makes no good sense for seniors with Homestead Exemption. There is no way conceivable that HOST would lower the property tax equivalent to the 1% sales tax seniors would be paying.

This is another Rogers scheme. Seniors do not need their property taxes lowered and HOST is, as one might anticipate, another regressive Rogers tax. Doesn't he think that some of us are not 47 percenters?
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