As I mentioned earlier, several Constitutional measures passed by the legislature require your support at the ballot box before they can go into effect.
Two of those measures, which I supported, will have benefits for one of Georgia’s largest economic sectors, agriculture.
Agriculture is Georgia’s number industry, but at the same time, it’s facing pressure. Development such as that we’re seeing in some of the communities of the 159th District reflects the interest among folks from all over our country in finding new opportunities in Georgia. But at the same time, long-time family farms are some of the first areas to face economic pressures as new developments move in.
That’s one of the reasons I supported HB 498, passed by the House by a vote of 158 - 0 and the Senate by a vote of 48 - 0. This legislation is designed to ensure that current tax provisions designed to keep family farms viable continue to protect today’s family-owned agricultural enterprises.
Forestry is another important element of our agricultural economy here in Georgia. Unlike other sectors, those in the forestry community don’t harvest every year - in some cases, they may grow for a lifetime, only harvesting timber after 40 years or more.
Recognizing the importance of this community and some of the unique financial pressures it faces, I supported HB 997, which passed the House by a vote of 171 - 0 and the Senate by a vote of 50 - 1. This legislation ensures that Georgia’s forestry community benefits from the same tax provisions as other agricultural sectors, providing long-term protections to keep this industry viable for generations to come.
While I supported each of these measures, I believe that your role in the constitutionally defined process is as important as mine, and I encourage you to do your own research and ask questions to ensure your familiarity with them before you vote.
Your constitutionally protected role in this type of legislation is just as important as mine, and I encourage you to take it seriously.
Always remember that should you have questions, comments, or concerns about issues affecting District 159, you can always reach out to me at (404.656.5052), email, or engage on Facebook. If you would like to receive email updates, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter or email me.
Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House Majority Leader.