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Perdues cut of HTRG wont delay tax bills
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Tax bills will go out as normal in Effingham County, even with the prospect of the governor withholding the homeowner’s tax relief grant.

County Administrator David Crawley asked county commissioners if they wanted to move forward with sending out the tax bills as usual, with the notion that the county will receive the payment in the future.

“It could be delayed until March,” he said.

Gov. Sonny Perdue has proposed postponing the HTRG to local governments, which could mean $428 million across the state and nearly $2.5 million in Effingham County. Perdue can’t eliminate the grant, which is provided to counties for local property tax relief, only postpone it, Crawley said.

“The governor can delay the funds,” he said. “But for that money to be used for some other purpose, the legislators have to amend the budget and make a change in law for that to happen.”

“We need a resolution to say this isn’t the way to go,” Commissioner Verna Phillips said of the governor’s proposal.
The county’s portion of the HTRG is expected to be about $800,000 and the board of education portion is around $1.37 million.

Tax Commissioner Lisa Wright said some people may believe that once they get their tax bills, they may not consider what might happen later. She asked what will happen if the HTRGs don’t come through.

“The taxpayers have to be aware that money is coming from somewhere,” she said. “We’re still in the dark.”

A second notice may be necessary, Wright said.