The Georgia Senate has approved a bill that will do away with the state portion of the property tax.

The constitutional amendment, sponsored by State Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, passed by a vote of 49-4. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue had pushed for the measure, which provides for an average reduction of about $30 per home and promises to save taxpayers about $94 million per year.

The Senate also passed two constitutional amendments that will freeze property tax rates at the 2008 rates until the property is sold. Under Senate Resolution 786, sponsored by Rogers, the assessed value of residential and non-residential property for all ad valorem tax purposes could be increased only by 2 percent each year from its 2009 valuation for residential property and 3 percent for non-residential under one of the bills.

Senate Resolution 686, authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, provides a sliding homestead exemption for residential property, which, in essence, freezes property taxes.

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