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Legislators approve tax reform
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Last week the Georgia Legislature passed a bill that reforms part of Georgia’s tax revenue structure. The purpose was to simplify and reduce the tax burden on Georgia citizens and spur economic growth.

The reforms included:

Motor vehicle ad valorem property tax will be eliminated after March 1, 2013 and will be replaced with a one time 7 percent title fee at the time of purchase of your vehicle.

Increases income tax exemptions for married filings and married separate filing status from $5,400 per couple to $7,400 per couple.

Capping of the retirement income exclusion for filers and spouse 65 and older at $65,000 each totaling $130,000 a couple.

Conservation easements credits are limited to $500,000 from $1 million which are given to those making qualified donations of these easements and allows only one transfer.

Elimination of the sales tax exemption for film producers and companies that purchased items while producing a film in Georgia.

Creation of energy tax exemptions which help manufacturers making Georgia more competitive with other states in our region. It would allow local counties and municipalities to re-impose local tax.

Broadens agricultural sales tax exemptions on agricultural machinery, agricultural equipment and energy used in agricultural production.

Sales tax exemptions on purchases made for construction that have a "regional impact" for enterprises whose cost of electricity exceeds 50 percent of the cost of all materials.

Airline Jet Fuel will be exempt from 1 percent of the 4 percent state sales and use tax for all qualifying airlines at qualifying airports starting July 1, 2012.

Closes the tax loophole on online sales which includes those out of state vendors who have regional affiliates in Georgia.


General FY2012 budget passes in the Senate

The FY 2013 budget is $19.233 billion in state funds and is based on a growth rate of 5.3 percent tax revenue growth over the FY 2012 amended. The budget contains $720 million in new funds over the amended FY2012 and $933 million over the general FY2012. As the state grows so does its budget.


Bills passed in the Senate

For a more complete list see

HB 39

HB 900

HR 1162

HB 514

HB 832

HB 208

HB 711

HB 845

HB 181

HB 835

HB 879

SR 1239


If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at


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— Recognizes and commends Bruce Oliver on the occasion of his retirement for his superlative service in the Department of Corrections.
— Requires the Department of Education to develop guidelines in the training of school employees for students with diabetes.
— Allows for a $500 annual permit to allow commercial wreckers to exceed the maximum weight and dimension limits when the wrecker is conducting an emergency tow. This permit can be obtained through the Department of Transportation.
— Requires local resident school systems to notify parents of students with disabilities that they may be eligible for a Georgia Special Needs Scholarship and of the website where more information can be found.
— Requires early care and education programs provide information on the flu vaccine to parents of enrolled children.
— Provides confidential communication between victims and their advocates at domestic violence and sexual assault centers. It exempts domestic abuse cases from the spousal evidence privilege in criminal proceedings.
— Ends legislation passed in 2008 allowing some retirees to teach fulltime. Currently this would have ended June 30, 2016. This bill changes the repeal date to June 30, 2013.
— Allows the royalties and license fees for Vidalia onions in prepared foods.
— Authorizes licensed distillers to sample their distilleries through an application process with the Department of Revenue commissioner.
— Constitutional amendment which allows the state to set up special charter school’s proposal will be on the ballot in November.
— Trailers must be titled if they are being scrapped. If the trailer is older than 12 years it is exempt from this requirement.
— Allows attendance records of home school students to be submitted to the Department of Education by electronic means.