Hobgood used the veto power he received earlier this year from changes to the city’s charter to put the plan in storage for 30 days to allow the council the opportunity to reconsider it.
He made the announcement at a news conference at City Hall.
In exercising his veto power, Hobgood said he questioned the legality of creating a separate tax district for fire services which would eliminate an exemption for senior citizens from a portion of property taxes in the process.
He also said he plans to ask the state attorney general for a ruling on the fire district plan.
“It is unthinkable to me that we could remove a senior exemption,” Hobgood said at the news conference.
Hobgood said attorneys for the Georgia Municipal Association and the Association of County Commissioners have both said it might “be problematic to attempt to eliminate by ordinance a Senior Homestead Exemption which was approved by the voters of the city.”
Right now, senior residents older than 62 and disabled residents can be granted a homestead exemption on all city taxes in the amount of $112,000 of the assessed value of a home.
Hobgood also said there had not been enough study of alternatives and a lack of adequate information to the council before they made the decision last week. Only Councilman Glenn Cummins voted against the plan.
Hobgood also said any such new tax could not be collected until the fall of 2013.
“The fire district as established in the ordinance is simply bad for our city,” Hobgood said in his prepared statement. “This ordinance sends the message to our seniors and disabled persons that the city does not understand or appreciate the value these individuals provide to our city.”
He also said the fire district could be challenged legally and that could prove costly for the city.
A meeting at Laurel Canyon, home to many residents who are seniors, was scheduled Thursday night by residents opposed to the plan.
A called meeting to revisit the veto will most likely be held between the council’s Aug. 2 work session and the Aug. 16 regular meeting, Hobgood said.
The district is an alternative to the city consolidating its fire operations with Cherokee County.
Both Cummins and Hobgood are proponents of consolidation with the county for fire services.