One of the few positives from the recession has been the new realization, by our Legislature, and many county and city officials, of the benefits of growth and particularly the economic reach of the housing industry. When builders stop building homes thousands of Georgians are out of jobs. This affects shops, suppliers, tradesmen, restaurants, grocery stores, gas retailers, insurers and the list goes on - even state and local tax coffers.
As Barry Paschal's column of Feb. 3 admits, the home building industry "is terrifically important to Columbia County," but it is also important to all of Georgia.
Unlike the column contends, HB 975 would not remove any property from the tax rolls at all. Under this proposed change, the home would be assessed as if it is still under construction and the lot would be taxed at its value, just as it is now. The improvements of the new home would be assessed and taxed at its value when sold or rented, in essence when a family moves in and the home begins using services.
As the column properly states, foreclosures hurt all property values. HB 975, just like SB 346 by Sen. Chip Rogers, will help all property owners by reducing foreclosures and yes, keep some builders from going out of business. This commonsense reform was passed last year in our neighboring state, South Carolina, and I applaud Rep. Lee Anderson for this job-saving, pro-business legislation for all Georgians.
Joey Brush, Chairman
Builders Association of Metro Augusta
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