Legislation Sponsored by Brett Harrell (7)

Date of Last Recorded Action: 5/10/2019

HB 0195 OpposeAd Valorem Tax Exemption - Expansion for Property of Charities Brett Harrell
3/29/2018 Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute Ways & Means Finance -
2017/02/03-Report Health and Human Services Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance

This bill would expand the property tax exemption for property owned by charitable organizations. Presently, buildings on such property must be "exclusively" used for charitable purposes. This bill would remove that exclusivity requirement, meaning that such buildings could be used for other purposes, including income-generating activities. As originally introduced, this bill would expand the property tax exemption only for homes for the mentally disabled. 

HB 0204 OpposeProperty Tax Bills - Not to Include Other Fees on Tax Bill Brett Harrell
1/8/2018 Senate Recommitted Ways & Means Finance -
2017/02/03-Report 2017/02/10 - Report 2017/02/17-Report 2017/03/06 - Report 2017/03/24 - Report
Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance

As amended by the author before the Senate Finance Committee, this bill would prohibit the placement on property tax bills of nontax-related fees and assessments, unless that fee or assessment is established via the creation of a special tax district. Regardless of method of establishment of such fees, however, this bill would prohibit the filing of liens against property for nonpayment of fees or assessments -- only unpaid property taxes could result in a lien. As a result, this bill would indirectly repeal existing law authorizing the filing of liens for unpaid sanitation and water fees/bills.

While the bill’s author maintains that placing such fees on property tax bills exposes the property owner to potential liens and losing of their homes due to unpaid fees, examples of that happening have not been provided. 

In contrast, placing fees on property tax bills provides convenience to citizens, lowers counties’ administrative costs, and results in higher collection rates. Because experience has shown that billing fees separately can significantly impact collections, counties could be faced with either raising fees for those who do pay in order to continue providing vital services, or shift those fees to property taxes. In addition, for those counties that currently do include fees on property tax bills, separating those billings will likely result in substantial administrative costs. More importantly, the loss of the ability to file liens would mean that counties would have to sue citizens for unpaid fees or raise fees on those citizens who do pay their bills.

ACCG believes that the decision on whether to bill separately or collectively for taxes and fees is best left to local officials, who are better positioned to respond to the specific desires of their citizens.

 As amended in the Senate Finance Committee, the above subject was removed and replaced with unrelated language exempting non-profit organizations from the $5 transporation surcharge for hotel/motel stays.

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 0693 OpposeProhibits Liens on Property Where Solid Waste Fees Are Delinquent Brett Harrell
2/21/2018 Senate Read and Referred Ways and Means Natural Resources and the Environment -
2018/01/19 Report 2018/01/26 Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/02/23 Report
Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment Property Tax Revenue & Finance
Solid Waste
This legislation would repeal the state law that permits local governments to place liens on properties for unpaid trash fees without going to court first. Local governments would still have other collection options, including filing a claim in Magistrate Court; a judgment from Magistrate Court can still be filed as a lien against the property of the debtor. Because direct filing of trash liens provides another tool for local government collection of unpaid fees, ACCG opposes this legislation.

The House passed HB 693 on 2/20/18. Vote Tally Link 
HB 0694 NeutralElectronic Filing of Motor Fuel Tax Reports Brett Harrell
3/21/2018 Senate Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Ways and Means Finance -
Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance Roads Transportation Funding
This bill requires motor fuel distributors to file electronically their monthly reports with the state revenue commissioner.
HB 0729 NeutralRepeal of State Ad Valorem Tax Levy Statute Brett Harrell
7/1/2018 Effective Date Ways and Means Finance -
Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance
This bill repeals O.C.G.A. 48-5-8 which provided for the millage rate and levy of state ad valorem taxes. As of January 1, 2016, the  state levy had been phased out and reduced to zero. 
HR 1539 SupportStudy Committee on Technology and Taxation in the Public Right of Way Brett Harrell
3/19/2018 House Second Readers Transportation --
Broadband Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Eminent Domain/Condemnation Franchise Fees
General County Government Preemption Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance Roads
Telecommunications Todd Edwards Traffic Enforcement Utilities
This resolution, mirroring SR 1019, creates the House study committee on Advanced Communications Technologies and the Use of State and Local Government Right of Way.  The study committee (made up of five House members, one mayor, one county commissioner and three experts on communications deployment or taxation issues) will study state and local laws/regulations pertaining to the use public right of way to deploy advanced broadband, video and voice technologies; whether these advanced technologies are, or should be, treated differently than current technologies in terms of regulation, taxation and other matters; and whether state laws should be changed in this area.        
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