The 2014 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly officially began Jan. 13. Governor Deal delivered his State of the State address Wednesday morning to both chambers of the legislature. More details will follow in next week’s column pertaining to the governor’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.
Election bill passed
• HB 310 - Aligns the state and local election schedules with that of federal election schedules by revising the dates for primaries, elections, runoff elections, and times for qualifying for office, and also adds March 31 as an additional campaign finance reporting date. In 2014, the primary will be held on May 20. The primary runoff will be July 22. A federal judge’s decision forced this action.
State revenues in December
The month of December totaled $1.75 billion in revenue, a 3.8 percent increase of $64 million as compared to December 2012. Year-to-date (YTD) net tax revenue of $9.09 billion shows a 5.1 percent increase, $442.1 million.
Inside the revenue numbers
Individual income tax collections totaled $958.0 million, resulting in only a 1.4 percent increase. Individual withholding payments increased 2.5 percent, up to $21 million. Tax refunds were down $9.5 million or 31.0 percent, and individual payments were down 18.9 percent.
Net sales tax for December was down 6 percent on total revenues of $414.3 million. When combined with the increase in title tag fee, there is an effective sales tax increase of $39 million or 8.4 percent.
There was also an increase in corporate income tax collections of 13.2 percent or $17.8 million. Corporate tax refunds issued increased by about $0.75 million or 2.6 percent, and corporate estimated tax payments increased $15 million, a 10.3 percent increase.
It is important to note the increase in motor vehicle tag and title fees. The total fee collections came to over $88.5 million in December, an increase of $65.4 million. YTD, the title/tag fee has produced a $371.2 million gain, which is 83 percent of all new revenue the state has received in the first six months. Motor fuel tax collections were down 5 percent for December, but YTD collections are up 5 percent and total $513.9 million.
Bills introduced in the Senate
• SB 280 - Would repeal Georgia’s “Stand your Ground” legislation. Repeals the fact that a person does not have the duty to retreat in regards to self-defense, repealing one’s right to “stand his/her ground.”
• SB 283 - Allows school systems to provide instruction on the history of typical winter holidays as well as the ability to construct displays of such holidays.
• SB 285 - Prohibits the clerks of superior court and the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority from disclosing an individual’s social security number.
• SB 288 - Requires an athletic association to produce annual financial reports if a high school participates in or sponsors interscholastic sports events conducted by such athletic association.
• SB 291 - Creates the Georgia Adult and Aging Services Agency and Georgia Adult and Aging Services Board to promote the health and medical services for older adults, and also establishes the rules and procedures of the board and agency.
• SB 292 - Establishes the Alzheimer’s Disease Registry within the Department of Public Health with the purpose in assisting the development of policy related to Alzheimer’s and other related disorders.
• SB 293 - Adds distressed properties to the definition of properties affected by ad valorem taxes and entitles taxpayers to an interview with an officer or employee of the taxing authority, permitting the recording of such interview as well.
If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly website at http://www.legis.ga.gov/
I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7092 (fax)
E-mail at Jack.Hill@senate.ga.gov
Or call toll-free at
1-800-367-3334 day or might
Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811