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Ballot referendum would help low-income Athenians keep their homes

As a homeowner in Athens’ West Broad neighborhood and a member of the Advisory Board, we advocated to our state representatives for help with our increasing property taxes. This referendum allows for an increased homestead exemption and a property tax freeze for homeowners with incomes under 200% of the poverty line. This will help people with fixed incomes and very low incomes stay in their homes. Our state representatives who passed this bill came to meetings in my neighborhood and listened to people who this referendum will help. Voting no means we’ll continue to lose affordable homes in my neighborhood and other parts of Athens where people are already struggling. I know the County has been talking a lot about affordable housing lately; well, it’s a lot easier and smarter to keep homes affordable than try to build new ones after they’re gone.

I know that my property is worth a lot more to developers and investors who could rebuild it for a fancier house or apartment, but it’s worth more than that to me, it’s my home, and it has been for 45 years. I hope people will consider how this referendum will help low-income families in Athens stay in their homes.

Willie Thomas


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How about agreeing to not have more than 2 kids so you don't overburden the schools which is most of your property tax bill. Better yet, lose your suggested exemption if you have 3 or more kids. I agree with your exemption with that exception.

Respondendo a

maybe you're correct on SPLOST.. but SPLOST doesn't hit corporate home ownership and mega developments as hard. No guarantee that a big apartment even spends $ for goods in the county of residence. SPLOST turns into a slush fund too. Everyone who uses resources should have some skin in the game. When you aren't paying for school or even food etc. what is a persons justification for having more kids? We should reward responsible families. Irresponsible ones should struggle not be rewarded.


Great thoughts Willie I have 2 additional ideas 1) freeze property taxes like they do in California and 2) adopt a no School Tax on homeowners over 65 like Forsyth County does..and take a look at their excellent schools !!


For that matter:

..eliminate school taxes across the board & implement a S Splost to fund schools ..


Doing things the same old way ain’t working is it


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