ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Alpharetta voters overwhelmingly passed measures to increase the homestead exemption on residential property, adding another $5,000 write-off on the taxable value of their homes.
The proposal garnered more than 91 percent of the 3,600 votes cast and increases the homestead exemption for all residents to $45,000, the largest in Metro Atlanta.
Voters also approved a measure eliminating income requirements for seniors to receive additional tax relief on their residential property. The city’s $10,000 senior homestead exemption now applies to all residents 65 and older, regardless of income. The measure received support from 84 percent of voters.
Only one of the three seats on the City Council were contested.
Post 6 incumbent Dan Merkel had no trouble securing his seat against two challengers in the race.
Merkel received just over 62 percent of the 3,519 votes cast, well ahead of challenger Clifford Martin, who collected just under 22 percent of the vote, and Abu Bakkar Ngila Jalloh with just over 15 percent. Martin, a retired businessman, lost a bid in last year’s special election for the Post 4 seat on the City Council against John Hipes.
Hipes and incumbent Mayor Jim Gilvin and Post 5 Councilman Jason Binder ran unopposed this year, each collecting more than 95 percent of the vote.
At an election gathering Tuesday night at Truck and Tap in Downtown Alpharetta, Merkel said he felt assured by the victory. Early indications following qualifying in August showed his opponents were not mounting a serious challenge, he said.
“I didn’t feel like they were coming after me because I was doing something wrong,” he said. “We did stay positive in our message.”
Merkel said his campaign sent out three mailers, targeting residents with a strong voting history.
“I have a family and a full-time job, and I was ready to go door to door,” he said. “You can’t take it for granted.”