House Bill 643, also known as the Senior School Tax Exemption Bill in Bartow County, did not pass through the Senate on Tuesday night. WBHF spoke to Senator Bruce Thompson who said that the first bill was not correct but instead needed to be two bills for the two school systems in Bartow County. He said the first bill made it to the Senate two weeks ago, but the other bill didn’t make it in time. WBHF also spoke to Representative Matthew Gambill, who represents Georgia District 15, on Wednesday morning about the two bills.

“It would have allowed the voters to vote on whether or not they want to exempt seniors in school tax in a tiered scenario where when you turn 65, 70 and 80 you get varied reductions in school property tax.

He said it’s important to remember that it is just the first year of the term and that more work is to be done.

“Even though the Senate has not taken action on those bills, both of them are still active pieces of legislation that will remain in the state senate when we begin legislation next January. They can pick back up where we left off next year without either bill being intorduced or going back through the House.

Gambill said that the plan for House bill 643 was always to be a referendum on the January 2020 ballot and that has not changed.

“Even if the legislature would have taken complete action on these bills, the dates for the referendum would still be voting in 2020. That’s still the case. It’s just a matter of having to go back to legislature next year and see what the Senate will do on these bills.

Senator Thompson said that the bill is not dea, but just delayed. However, it did not pass legislation in 2019.