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Porterdale calls for homestead exemption

PORTERDALE -- City residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinion on a $10,000 homestead exemption in conjunction with the Nov. 2 general election.

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution calling for the referendum at its Monday night regular meeting. Councilman Lowell Chambers was absent from the meeting.

The council agreed in January to ask the General Assembly to approve local legislation authorizing the city to call for the referendum. The House and Senate approved the local legislation, and the measure was signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue on June 2.

The homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes is designed to offset a 4-mill increase in the property tax rate approved by the City Council last month. Based on the city's current 17.518 millage rate, the homestead exemption would reduce property taxes on an owner-occupied home by $175 per year.

The majority of Porterdale's residences are rental property.

In other business, the council unanimously approved a distilled spirits license for The Oaks Associates, the golf course and club in Porterdale. The Oaks previously had a license for beer and wine only.

The council moved the license application up on the agenda Monday night so that Nancy Schulz, co-owner of The Oaks and District 3 representative on the Newton County Board of Commissioners, could leave in time to attend a county work session.