DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond is calling the implementation of the Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax (EHOST) property tax relief strategy a “monumental success” after projections show that the county will exceed early estimates of the total amount of tax relief.
DeKalb County voters approved the adoption of the EHOST replacing the Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) in 2017. In April of 2018, the EHOST went into effect. By the end of 2022, total savings from the EHOST will equal $591 million, with 15 months remaining before the current EHOST expires, stated officials.
“When EHOST was approved in 2017, early estimates indicated the total amount of tax relief would be $660 million over the six-year lifespan of the tax credit,” stated a news release. “It is now projected that total EHOST tax relief should exceed $700 million.”
According to DeKalb County’s website, merchants collect sales tax throughout the year, currently at 8 percent, on products sold within the county, which is then paid to the state. One percent then comes back to the county in the form of EHOST.
“Each year, 100 percent of this EHOST revenue is used to reduce property taxes for qualified homeowners,” stated officials. “The amount varies depending upon EHOST revenue, the value of a home, and county millage rates.”
On average, the EHOST credit will generate a tax reduction of $1,230 for qualified homes valued at $325,000, stated officials. Homes that qualify for EHOST must be the legal residence for all purposes (including filing of federal and state income taxes, registering any owned or leased vehicles and registering to vote) on Jan. 1 of each year to qualify for or retain an exemption. Only private residences are eligible for an exemption, according to the DeKalb County website.
Thurmond recently announced the county’s EHOST credit for 2022 will provide $137 million in property tax relief for property owners with homestead exemptions. The EHOST has generated more than $454 million in tax relief for DeKalb property owners since 2018, according to officials.
“DeKalb County is the only county in Georgia with a local sales tax that is 100 percent dedicated to property tax relief,” said Thurmond. “In addition, for the sixth consecutive year, the board of commissioners voted against raising the current millage rate. Our EHOST property tax relief strategy has been a monumental success, allowing us to fulfill the promise we made to our residents.”
The current-year EHOST tax relief is shown on property owners’ 2022 DeKalb County Real Property Tax Statement, in the column titled “EHOST Credit.” According to the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner’s Office website, the tax commissioner’s office will begin mailing property owners their 2022 tax bills on Aug. 15. Property owners who also signed up for e-bills will receive email notification on Aug. 15.
The EHOST credit is not applied against taxes levied by DeKalb municipalities, school districts or tax allocation districts, stated officials.
For more information, and to apply for EHOST, visit https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/splost/ehost.