Vol # 4, Issue 5 - February 15, 2013

 Title Ad Valorem Tax Clean-Up Bill Passes the House

Tax reform legislation enacted by the Georgia General Assembly in 2012 created a new system for taxing motor vehicles registered in Georgia. As a result, the annual vehicle ad valorem tax, often called the “birthday tax,” will change to a state and local title ad valorem tax on March 1, 2013.

HB 80
 was introduced earlier this year as a substantial revision to the new system. Among other things, the bill changes how the fair market value is determined; exempts IRP vehicles from the new system and continues them under the apportioned ad valorem tax; changes registration procedures; changes numerous items regarding dealers who directly finance sales; changes numerous items regarding new lease; and provides for new criminal penalties. This legislation passed in the House on Thursday and is headed to the Senate early next week. Please share the summary of changes with your county tax commissioner and provide feedback on any concerns to Clint Mueller at cmueller@accg.org.

Remember, ACCG has developed many tools to help educate your community about the new title ad valorem tax system for motor vehicles. In addition, training provided by the Department of Revenue also is available to view online. For more information, click

Cell Tower Siting Preemption Legislation Progresses

HB 176
 passed a House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Sub-Committee on Thursday. Representatives from ACCG, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, GMA and several cities expressed concerns on the impact this legislation will have on local cell tower siting ordinances. This bill significantly preempts local governments in reviewing and approving applications for both the modification of existing cell towers and structures (collocation) and the construction of new cell towers and structures local communities. As HB 176 is the top priority of the wireless industry this session and is being backed by many other influential groups including the Americans for Prosperity and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, it has very strong momentum. Please have your county staff review the bill and inform your House members of any negative implications it has on your local zoning, land use or tower/equipment application review processes. This legislation will likely be heard on the House floor soon. 

More Changes Made to Ethics Legislation
This week, legislators in the House Rules Committee reviewed and discussed HB 142 and HB 143 as they passed out of subcommittee.  An additional substitute for HB 142 was presented during the Rules Committee meeting on Thursday but was not formally adopted.  The significant change that was proposed dealt with providing an exemption from filing disclosure reports for lobbyists who work pro bono and do not have any lobbyist expenditures provided they fill out a written statement of intent to not have lobbyist expenditures for the calendar year.  Some additional changes that came out of subcommittee include a reduction of the lobbyist registration fee and exemptions for individuals who have limited lobbying activities. Please review the summary of this legislation and provide feedback on any concerns to Shaun Adams at sadams@accg.org


Get More of "The County Scoop"

Be sure to watch the County Scoop videos which provide additional details about legislation that is working its way through the Capitol. To view the videos,click on the arrows in the boxes above. For a link to all of this week's videos, click here.


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