Business and Occupation Tax (21)

Date of Last Recorded Action: 5/8/2018

HB 0056 NeutralEquipment Rental Leases - Property tax recovery fees Ron Stephens
2/22/2017 House Withdrawn, Recommitted Transportation -
Business and Occupation Tax Larry Ramsey Property Tax

 This bill provides for a 'property tax recovery fee' on the rental of construction, industrial, maritime, or mining equipment that is rented without a driver or operator. While the definition in subsection (a) and the internal references are all to a 'fee', subsection (f) states that this charge is a tax.

The 'fee' is in the amount of 1.5% of the total rental charge (minus some exclusions) and applies to lease agreements which are either: 1) 365 days or less; or 2) for an open or unspecified period of time. The 'fee' is purportedly to pay the lessor's (rental company's) property tax liability on rental equipment. However, if the lessor collects more than the amount of that property tax liability, the excess amount plus any interest, goes to the state and not to local government. The 'fee' commences January 1, 2018, and ceases December 31, 2022.

HB 0060 SupportLiquor - Distiller May Sell Directly to Public Ron Stephens
1/24/2017 House Second Readers Regulated Industries -
Alcohol/Tobacco Business and Occupation Tax General County Government Public Safety and Courts Todd Edwards
This legislation authorizes licensed distillers to obtain a retail package liquor store license and sale up to 10 percent of the total liquor it produces each year, or 1,000 barrels, whichever is greater, directly to the public from the distillery.  Excise taxes will be collected and paid by the distiller.  It also authorizes distilleries to have a food service establishment on the premises.    
HB 0149 NeutralRequirement for Counties to Use Only GBI Approved Trauma Scene Cleanup Services and Consolidation of Fire Services Alan Powell
3/29/2018 Senate - Senate Disagreed House Amend or Sub Public Safety and Homeland Security Public Safety
2017/03/06 - Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/23 Report Business and Occupation Tax Code Enforcement
Coroners/Medical Examiners Debra Nesbit Emergency Management/Preparedness EMS/Ambulance Fire Services
Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons Georgia Bureau of Investigation Health and Human Services Law Enforcement Nat. Res. & the Environment
Public Safety and Courts Sheriff Solid Waste
This legislation preempts county and city governments from requiring licenses or permits for trauma scene waste management practitioners or regulated waste transporters.  When hiring a company to cleanup or remove trauma scene waste, counties and cities must hire a company approved by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  This bill was amended to include S.B. 319 which provides for the Consolidation of all Fire Services into a separate state agency.
HB 0158 NeutralGambling - Georgia Destination Resort Act Ron Stephens
1/31/2017 House Second Readers Regulated Industries -
2017/02/03-Report Alcohol/Tobacco Business and Occupation Tax District Attorneys Econ. Dev. & Transportation
Economic Development General County Government Georgia Bureau of Investigation Immigration Land Use/Zoning
Public Safety and Courts Retirement Revenue & Finance Todd Edwards Tourism
This legislation, mirroring SB 79, legalizes gambling in Georgia. Two casino licenses will be granted.  One license will be granted within a county having a population of at least 900,000, will be at least a $2 billion investment, located in a convention district and have a hotel with at least 1,000 rooms.  The other license will be granted within a county with at least 450,000 people, be at least a $450 million investment, and located near a convention district.  These casinos can be open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and will pay a 20-percent tax on gross receipts (70 percent of proceeds go to the HOPE Scholarship and 30 percent will go to a needs-based college scholarship.   
HB 0408 OpposeSales and Use Tax - Exempt Transportation Referral Services Sam Teasley
2/21/2017 House Second Readers Ways & Means -
2017/02/17-Report Business and Occupation Tax Code Enforcement Econ. Dev. & Transportation General County Government
Larry Ramsey Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local
This bill makes significant changes to the existing, temporary state and local sales and use tax exemption for fares of for-hire vehicles: 1) the sunset is removed and the exemption is made permanent; 2) it is expanded from taxi, limousine, and ride share to also include transportation referral services and providers; 3) it specifically includes MARTA in the list of local sales and use taxes to which the exemption applies.
HB 0430 NeutralGovernor's Education Reform Commission - Charter Schools Buzz Brockway
7/1/2017 Effective Date Education Education and Youth
Business and Occupation Tax Code Enforcement Fire Services General County Government Land Use/Zoning
Todd Edwards
This legislation sets statewide standards and authorization processes for charter schools by local school boards and the State Charter Schools Commission.  While an earlier version removed charter schools from local zoning and land use ordinances, the bill was amended in Senate committee to require that "the location of a charter school shall be in conformity with existing county or city comprehensive land use plans, if applicable, or existing land use patterns in the area."    
HB 0518 NeutralCity Franchise Fees on Telecommunications - Change Calculation Lee Hawkins
2/20/2018 House - House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications -
Business and Occupation Tax Econ. Dev. & Transportation Eminent Domain/Condemnation Franchise Fees General County Government
Preemption Revenue & Finance Roads Telecommunications Todd Edwards
This legislation reduces the rate which the Georgia DOT may charge for the installation of telephone and other communications facilities in its right to $100 per linear mile annually.  Furthermore, it caps the amount of franchise fees a city can charge telephone companies that do not have retail end user customers within its jurisdiction at $100 per linear mile.       
HB 0533 OpposeLocal Right of Way - Preempt and Authorize Unlimited, Unfettered Access for Wireless Structures Brett Harrell
3/6/2017 House Second Readers Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications -
Business and Occupation Tax Code Enforcement Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons
General County Government Land Use/Zoning Preemption Roads Todd Edwards
Transportation Utilities

This complex and lengthy bill provides as close to unfettered access to county and municipal rights of way (ROW) as possible for wireless providers to construct unlimited wireless support structures/poles (50' high, or 10' taller than any existing pole within 500'), antennas (up to 6 cubic feet), equipment boxes (up to 28 cubic feet) and other infrastructure in order to roll out 5G service in metropolitan areas.  The bill limits or preempts a broad range of county decisions regarding: wireless structures within and outside public ROW, collocation of small wireless facilities, zoning reviews for cell towers and wireless support structures, modifications to wireless facilities outside public ROW, location of wireless facilities on local government owned utility poles, and county jurisdiction over small wireless facilities on private property. For example, HB 535 would bar local governments from subjecting certain wireless facilities to zoning review and approval, limit fees that counties and cities could impose for permitting, regulating and managing access to public ROW by wireless companies, and impose unrealistic shot clocks for counties to make decisions regarding various wireless facilities; otherwise the applications are "deemed approved". In addition, the bill would prohibit counties from requiring that wireless providers indemnify and hold the county harmless against claims arising from negligent acts of the provider and does not provide that these structures be removed or relocated, at provider expense, for road widening, maintenance or emergency situations. Lastly, counties can only deny a permit for this infrastructure if it violates stipulations in the bill... which are slim to none.  

  

HB 0757 NeutralTaxicab Regulations Alan Powell
3/27/2018 Senate - Senate Tabled Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities
Airports Business and Occupation Tax Econ. Dev. & Transportation Kathleen Bowen Preemption
Public Safety and Courts Transportation

This legislation clarifyies that if a city of county has a medallion system or “certificate of public necessity and convenience” in place, it is against the law for anyone to operate a taxicab without a medallion. Additonally, taxicab drivers would be required to display within full view of passengers an idientification card that included the name and photo of the operator and the name of company for whom the operator is driving.

This bill also includes the prohibition of the governing authority of any county or city airport from imposing any age limit on vehicles for hire doing business at such airport that is less than eight years measured from the vehicle's year of manufacture, for any vehicle used as a ride share, taxicab, or limousine. Lastly, the bill defines "soft taximeters" and states that that no local government shall have the authority to reject or prohibit the use of soft taximeters.

HB 0840 NeutralTax Penalties and Interest - Exemption for Military in Combat Zones Bill Hitchens
7/1/2018 Effective Date Ways and Means Veterans, Military and Homeland Security
Business and Occupation Tax Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance
This bill provides an exemption from penalties and interest for failure to timely pay occupation taxes, regulatory fees, administrative fees, or license fees when the default is due to a taxpayer's military service in a combat zone and not due to neglect or disregard for the law. Unpaid taxes and fees would be due within 60 days of the taxpayer's return from overseas military duty.
HB 0858 NegotiatingOccupation Tax - Expansion of Businesses Exempt from Gross Receipts Tax Shaw Blackmon
2/12/2018 House - House Second Readers Ways and Means -
2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report Business and Occupation Tax Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance
This bill adds more professions/occupations to the so-called "$400.00 Club" and will allow contractors and others who are required to be licensed by the state to choose what type and amount of occupation tax they pay. They can choose the amount that would otherwise be determined under general law, or, they can choose a set amount of $400.00. Importantly, anyone in this 'club' cannot be required to provide local government with any information regarding gross receipts. The author has agreed to pursue a study committee rather than this bill.

 

 
HB 0887 OpposeWireless Industry Preemption of Local Management of Public Right of Way Jay Powell
3/27/2018 Senate - Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute Ways and Means Regulated Industries and Utilities
2018/02/09 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report Broadband
Business and Occupation Tax Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Emergency Management/Preparedness Eminent Domain/Condemnation
Franchise Fees General County Government Larry Ramsey Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance
Roads Sales Tax-Local Todd Edwards

While this bill began, constructively, as a rural broadband bill, the Senate Regulated Industries Committee stripped and replaced it with the language of SB 426.  This wireless industry legislation guarantees authorization for wireless providers to construct and place poles (50' high), antennas (up to 6 cubic feet in volume and 10' higher than poles), equipment boxes (up to 25 cubic feet in volume), plus up to 4 cabinets (undefined size) and other infrastructure in county and city right of way (ROW).  Local government management of the above is all but entirely usurped; the grounds by which applications can be denied are few; denials are primed to result in litigation; and then locals are set up to lose.  

ACCG has attempted to work with the wireless providers, legislators and other stakeholders since last year to try to incorporate safeguards into the legislation.  While some of our recommendations were made, most of these "concessions" are so wrought with legal loopholes that their purported purpose has been nullified. 

For ACCG's concerns with (and suggestions for) this bill and SB 426, please click here.  

HB 0915 OpposeBodywork Therapists - State Governance and Local Preemptions Lee Hawkins
2/14/2018 House - House Second Readers Regulated Industries -
2018/02/16 Report Business and Occupation Tax General County Government Health and Human Services Land Use/Zoning
Law Enforcement Preemption Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance Todd Edwards
This legislation provides for the statewide definition, regulation and licensure of "bodywork therapists", entailing educational requirements, board governance, human trafficking notification, prohibitions on illicit/prurient practices, etc. on this therapy practice - much like what has been done for massage therapy.  It then preempts local governments from several regulations they can place on bodywork therapists and establishments.  It also prohibits local governments from collecting regulatory fees on, and licensing, bodywork therapists. Please review and let Todd Edwards (tedwards@accg.org) know of any concerns you have with these local preemptions.          
HB 0925 OpposeMandatory Minimum Salary for Sheriff's Deputies Al Williams
2/15/2018 House - House Second Readers Ways and Means -
2018/02/16 Report Business and Occupation Tax Compensation Debra Nesbit General County Government
Health and Human Services Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance
This legislation mandates that all deputies appointed by a sheriff be compensated at a rate equal to an annual salary of $33,500.  The bill also creates a grant program administered by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to assist local governments in the compensation of sheriff's deputies.  The grant program would be funded through a 1% excise tax on the sale of contact lenses and spectales for which a prescription of required.  The legilslation is accompanied by H.R. 1138.
HB 0975 OpposeSolid Waste Management: Coal Ash Disposal Robert Gasaway
2/22/2018 House - House Second Readers Natural Resources and Environment -
2018/02/23 Report Business and Occupation Tax Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons General County Government Kathleen Bowen
Nat. Res. & the Environment Revenue & Finance Solid Waste
The legislation addresses the disposal of coal combustion residuals.  The bill removes the host fee for coal combustion residuals disposals but authorizes the county operated municipal solid waste disposal facility to charge a fee up to .25 cents per ton for the disposal of coal combustion residuals.  In addition, for privately owned municipal solid waste disposal facilities, a new state excise tax of $2.50 per ton is to be charged to the producer for the disposal of coal combustion residuals. 
HR 1258 NeutralOccupational Taxes - Study Committee Shaw Blackmon
2/23/2018 House - House Second Readers Special Rules -
2018/02/23 Report Business and Occupation Tax Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance
This resolution creates the House Study Committee on Equitable Taxation under the Business and Occupation Taxes and Fees. It calls for a comprehensive study of whether all businesses and occupations are treated equitably with respect to those taxes and fees.
SB 0002 NeutralThe "FAST" Act - Local Fee, Permit and Licensing Requirements Michael Dugan
3/21/2018 House - House Insisted Small Business Development Economic Development and Tourism
2017/02/17-Report 2017/03/06 - Report 2017/03/24 - Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/09 Report
Business and Occupation Tax Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons General County Government
Mandate Todd Edwards

This legislation had mandated that cities and counties which charge any regulatory fees (license or permit fees) or have any regulatory requirements to establish a schedule of such fees and requirements which must include time lines necessary for processing completed applications and a list of all documentation needed by applicants to meet regulatory requirements. Upon receipt of an application related to any fee, the applicant will pay only 50% of the fee. The local government must then notify the applicant whether an application is complete. Whenever the local government does not meet its deadline for acting on a "complete" application, the associated fees will be reduced by 10 percent for each 10 days said action is delayed. Local governments are required to set up a second, expedited process for processing all applications and permits and must study how to share applicants' information with other local, state and federal agencies so that applicants don't have to duplicate filing efforts with other governments.  

For a summary of the above, Senate version of SB 2 please click here.      

The above language was removed by the House and replaced with a voluntary "Ready for Partnership Georgia" program whereby local governments can adopt a series of measures to streamline their permitting processes to obtain said designation.  While ACCG has no concerns with the now-current House version of the bill, there will most certainly be efforts by the Senate to reinstall the above language that ACCG opposes.  Stay tuned, as this one will likely be decided in a conference committee report late on the last day of session.      

 

 

                       

SB 0017 SupportSunday Brunch Alcohol Sales Renee Unterman
5/8/2018 Act 461 Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities
2018/02/02 Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/16 Report
Alcohol/Tobacco Business and Occupation Tax General County Government Public Safety and Courts Todd Edwards

This bill authorizes cities and counties, in which the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises is already lawful on Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 12:00 midnight, to allow said sale from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight if the county adopts an ordinance or resolution and the voters so approve via a referendum. 

Counties wishing to have this approved by the November 6, 2018 election should pass their ordinances by July 31st in order to provide their elections superintendents to prepare the proper materials ready and distributed to notify the public by August 4, 2018.     

SB 0079 NeutralGambling - Georgia Destination Resort Act Brandon Beach
1/30/2017 Senate Read and Referred -Regulated Industries and Utilities
2017/02/03-Report Alcohol/Tobacco Business and Occupation Tax District Attorneys Econ. Dev. & Transportation
Economic Development Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons Georgia Bureau of Investigation Land Use/Zoning Public Safety and Courts
Todd Edwards Tourism
This legislation, mirroring HB 158, legalizes gambling in Georgia.  Two casino licenses will be granted.  One license will be granted within a county having a population of at least 900,000, will be at least a $2 billion investment, located in a convention district and have a hotel with at least 1000 guest rooms.  The other license will be granted within a county with at least 250,000 people, be at least a $450 million investment, and located near a convention district. Casinos can be open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and will pay a 20-percent tax on gross receipts - 70 percent of proceeds go to the HOPE scholarship and 30 percent will go to a needs-based college scholarship.  .  .          
SR 0222 SupportTax Exemption Study Committee John Albers
3/28/2017 Senate Passed/Adopted -Finance
Business and Occupation Tax Hotel Motel Tax Insurance Premium Tax Larry Ramsey Property Tax
Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local Transportation Funding
This resolution creates the Senate Special Tax Exemption Study Committee. It directs the interim study committee to examine "tax exemptions" without specifying which exemptions are to be studied.
SR 1170 NeutralStudy Committee - Are Local Fees Going Toward Intended Purposes? Jack Hill
3/29/2018 Senate - Senate Read and Adopted --
911 Alcohol/Tobacco Animal Control Broadband Business and Occupation Tax
Code Enforcement Econ. Dev. & Transportation EMS/Ambulance Fire Services Fireworks
Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons Franchise Fees General County Government Health and Human Services Impact Fees
Land Use/Zoning Nat. Res. & the Environment Open Records/Meetings Act Probate Court Public Safety and Courts
Revenue & Finance Roads Sewer/Septage Sheriff Solid Waste
State Court Superior Court Tax Commissioner Todd Edwards Traffic Enforcement
Water Quality
Following much discussion over the past several years regarding the redirection of state-collected fees from their intended purposes, this Senate study committee (consisting of 5 senators) will examine whether or not local government fees are fairly and equitably imposed and whether the monies collected from them are being appropriately used and directed for the purpose(s) for which they are intended.  Examples of fees cited by this resolution include: storm water management fees, fire service fees, and traffic add-on fees.            
Green background on status indicates a bill has been acted on the last recorded legislative day.








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