Natural Disaster Relief Legislation receives final passage

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From Special Reports

ATLANTA – State Representative Lynn Smith (R-Newnan) announced Monday that the Georgia Senate gave final passage to House Resolution 594, legislation that would provide tax relief following natural disasters, on Friday, April 1, 2022. HR 594 has been sent to Governor Brian Kemp.

“I am grateful to my colleagues in the Georgia General Assembly for putting aside political differences to love our neighbors greater than ourselves,” said Rep. Smith. “Last year, Coweta County faced unprecedented devastation, and individuals were denied much needed federal aid in the wake of the storm. Watching my county try to rebuild after the storm was incredibly impactful to me as a legislator, and I decided to carry this legislation to help other Georgia communities who may who may face the same future devastation. If this becomes law, local governments could have an option to step in and provide an alternative pathway to direct relief for citizens in the future, especially if the federal government in Washington fails to do so.”

House Resolution 594 would authorize the governing authority of each county, municipality, consolidated government and the board of education of each independent and county school system in Georgia to grant temporary tax relief to properties that are severely damaged or destroyed as a result of a natural disaster and that are located within a nationally declared disaster area. This resolution also includes the required ballot language to ratify this amendment. Local governments would not be obligated to provide this type of tax relief, and it would be up to these local governments to determine how to implement this legislation locally.

If this legislation is enacted, HR 594 would not be retro-active in providing relief for past disasters, but it would be an option for local governments to implement for future disasters.

Rep. Smith brought this legislation forward after learning that a local property owner was required to pay annual taxes on property that was destroyed by a natural disaster during that tax year.

For more information on HR 594, please click here.

Smith represents the citizens of District 70, which includes portions of Carroll and Coweta counties.

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