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Senate passes property tax relief
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The Senate last week gave a $95 million tax cut to property owners by eliminating the one-quarter mill property tax that currently goes to the state. S.R. 859 will amend the Constitution ending any involvement the state has in property taxes. Now local governments will determine reevaluation frequency and will be totally in command of property tax values and taxing.
Senate freezes reevaluation
The Senate this week moved to freeze the reevaluations of properties. Two Constitutional amendment resolutions passed. S.R. 686 freezes residential property evaluation and restricts growth to inflation. S.R. 796 extends the freeze to all property — residential and non-residential. Reevaluation increases are limited to 2 percent a year for residential property and 3 percent a year for non-residential property. All three resolutions must receive a 2/3 vote and then go to the House for consideration. They will then be voted on in the 2008 General Election if they pass the House.
Other bills of interest
The following bills and resolutions passed the Senate last week:
• S.B. 372: Requires lobbyists to undergo training.
• S.B. 382: Changes a one day game and fish license to three days.
• S.B. 388: Establishes an identity theft task force within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
• S.B. 405: The “Georgia Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act” standardizes the process of donating organs.
• S.R. 819: Creates the Senate Firearms Law Study Committee so that existing firearms laws and licensing can be reviewed.                                  
Legislation introduced
The following bills were introduced in the Senate last week:
• S.B. 446: Allows motorcycles with vehicle detection devices to enter an intersection with a red light once they have waited no less than 20 seconds. They must yield to other vehicles.
• S.B. 447: Gives a free business license to disabled veterans.
• S.B. 448: Allows present and former peace officers alleged of crimes to testify at their grand jury hearing. If they are charged with the death of another person, they may be subject to cross examination.
• S.B. 458: Requires public schools and school systems that lose their accreditation to provide vouchers to students who choose to attend either another public school or a private school.
• S.B. 461: Requires schools to submit to the Department of Education guidelines for prohibiting bullying in grades K-12.
• S.B. 466: Exempts permanent car wash facilities from water restrictions so long as used water is recycled and is certified for meeting applicable best management practices for car washing facilities.  
• H.B. 953: Establishes the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and the War of 1812 Commemoration Commission.
• H.B. 1088: Allows the Department of Economic Development, in conjunction with the Department of Transportation, to post agricultural tourist attraction signs for people.
To find out more about any legislation, visit the Legislature’s home page at
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