2017/02/03-Report


HB 0076InactiveClerks of Court - Revisions to Recording Maps, Plats and Plans Rick Jasperse
5/8/2017Effective DateJudiciaryJudiciary
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-Report2017/02/10 - Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/17 - Report
Clerk of CourtGeneral County GovernmentLand Use/ZoningTodd Edwards

This is clean up legislation for HB 1004 from the 2016 legislative session.  All maps, plats, plans and condominium plans must now be submitted electronically to the clerk of superior court.  The remainder of the bill was worked out over the interim between counties, cities, surveyors, engineers, architects and the clerks, specifying the format for the submittal of plats and plans, required data for plats, which plats must be certified by land surveyors, and other certification required for plats.  Attempts to add language stating that maps not creating new roads or utilities do not need local approval prior to submittal to the clerk were unsuccessful. 

For the guidance document, click here

HB 0085NeutralForest Land Conservation Valuation - Appraisal MethodologyJay Powell
1/1/2019Effective DateWays & MeansFinance
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-Report2017/02/24 - Report2017/03/06 - Report2018/02/23 Report
2018/03/23 ReportLarry RamseyProperty TaxRevenue & Finance
The substitute version of this bill changes the method of valuation of forest land conservation property by uncoupling that valuation from 2008 values as existing law provides. Instead, the valuation would first change to 2016 values and then reset every 3 years thereafter. In addition, this bill creates a new appraisal methodology for valuation of non-covenant timberland property (defined as property with the primary purpose of commercial timber production).The Department of Revenue (DOR) will develop a methodology each year for valuing such property via actual income data for such properties. However, the resulting values could not be less than 175% of the corresponding FLPA value for that property. DOR is allowed to withhold 3 percent administrative fee from FLPA assistance grants to counties, cities, or school districts. The bill is contingent upon ratification of an enabling constitutional amendment, HR 51. Local assessors and taxpayers would have the right to appeal DOR's appraisal methodology.
HB 0093NeutralSale and Use Tax Refunds - No Interest PayableJohn Corbett
3/29/2018Senate Conference Committee Appointed 56th, 52nd, 30thWays & MeansFinance
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/24 - Report2018/03/16 Report
2018/03/23 ReportLarry RamseyRevenue & FinanceSales Tax-Local
This bill changes refund procedures for purchasers with a certificate or exemption letter from the state revenue commissioner. If the certificate has been obtained but not used prior to a purchase, any refund of sales tax is made without interest. Under present law, no interest is due on refunds only if a certificate had not been obtained and used prior to a purchase. As amended, this bill adds requirements for certain large purchasers who may directly pay sales tax rather than pay sales tax to their vendors. The Senate added the text of SB 378 (Measuring Success Act) and SB 432 (repeal of certain tax exemptions). 
HB 0144NegotiatingRetail Pet Stores - Preempt Local Ordinances Earl Ehrhart
3/30/2017House Withdrawn, RecommittedAgriculture & Consumer Affairs
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-ReportAnimal ControlGeneral County GovernmentPreemption
Public Safety and CourtsTodd Edwards
This legislation preempts counties and cities from adopting or enforcing ordinances that directly or indirectly prohibit the sale, delivery or transfer of a dog or cat from a properly licensed retail pet store or from imposing restrictions in addition to the requirements of state law. Many attempts were made to add this preemptive language to other bills late in the session.  All attempts failed. 
HB 0146NeutralRequirement for Local Governments to Provide Cancer Benefit to All FirefightersMicah Gravley
1/1/2018Effective DateInsuranceState and Local Governmental Operations
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-Report2017/02/10 - Report2017/02/17-Report2017/03/06 - Report
2017/03/10 - Report2017/03/17 - ReportDebra NesbitFire ServicesGeneral County Government
Insurance InsurancePublic Safety and CourtsRevenue & Finance
This legislation requires fire departments to purchase insurance coverage on each firefighter to pay claims for cancer diagnosed after serving at least 12 consecutive months as a firefighter in the department if the cancer or treatment makes them unable to perform their firefighter duties.
HB 0152NegotiatingWorker's Compensation For Firefighters Diagnosed with CancerMicah Gravley
3/30/2017House Withdrawn, RecommittedIndustry and Labor
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-ReportDebra NesbitFire ServicesInsurance
InsuranceMandatePersonnel/EmploymentPublic Safety and Courts
 This legislation allows worker's compensation benefits for firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer that, upon a preponderance of competent and credible evidence, can prove the cancer was directly related to their duties as a firefighter.
HB 0158NeutralGambling - Georgia Destination Resort Act Ron Stephens
1/31/2017House Second ReadersRegulated Industries
2017/02/03-ReportAlcohol/TobaccoBusiness and Occupation TaxDistrict AttorneysEcon. Dev. & Transportation
Economic DevelopmentGeneral County GovernmentGeorgia Bureau of InvestigationImmigrationLand Use/Zoning
Public Safety and CourtsRetirementRevenue & FinanceTodd EdwardsTourism
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 0164NeutralElections - Only Those Elected to Office Listed as "Incumbents"Betty Price
1/31/2017House Second ReadersGovernmental Affairs
2017/02/03-ReportElectionsGeneral County GovernmentTodd Edwards
This legislation seeks to specify that only current officers who were elected to their offices may be designated as "incumbents" on the ballot.  Current officers who were appointed to fill a vacancy would not be considered an "incumbent" on the ballot.
HB 0167EvaluatingElections - Georgia Timely Process Act Patty Bentley
1/31/2017House Second ReadersGovernmental Affairs
2017/02/03-ReportElectionsGeneral County GovernmentMandateTodd Edwards
This legislation requires county voter registration officials to process all applications for voter registration within 45 days of the initial receipt.   
HB 0175SupportAlcohol - Locals May Reduce Distance Between Restaurant Sales and Schools/Housing Authorities Clay Cox
2/1/2017House Second ReadersRegulated Industries
2017/02/03-ReportAlcohol/TobaccoGeneral County GovernmentHealth and Human ServicesLand Use/Zoning
Public Safety and CourtsTodd Edwards
This legislation allows counties and cities, via a resolution or ordinance, to reduce the state-mandated distance between a restaurant that serves wine and beer and a school or housing authority property.
HB 0181SupportSales and Use Taxes - Availability of Information to Local GovernmentsJodi Lott
1/25/2018Senate Committee Favorably ReportedWays & MeansFinance
2017/02/03-Report2017/02/24 - Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/10 - Report2017/03/24 - Report
2018/01/26 ReportLarry RamseyRevenue & FinanceSales Tax-Local

This bill provides a mechanism by which the governing authority of a county or municipality can access sales and use tax information from the Department of Revenue (DOR). Present law prohibits DOR from disclosing tax information even to other governments. Under the substitute version of this bill, the governing authority appoints a designated officer or official  who can request a report from DOR regarding identifying information on those vendors within that local jurisdiction who are currently remitting sales tax reports (actual sales tax numbers would not be obtainable). The designated officer could additionally request DOR to verify that sales tax receipts from particular vendors are accurately being remitted to the appropriate jurisdiction. The information retains its confidential status and is not subject to the Open Records Act. The information may be discussed by the governing authority in executive session. Disclosure of such confidential information by a local official is punishable as a misdemeanor.

The text of this bill was also added to SB 216. 

HB 0194NeutralCounties Must Consider Schools when RezoningTodd Jones
3/30/2017House Withdrawn, RecommittedGovernmental Affairs
2017/02/03-Report2017/02/24 - ReportGeneral County GovernmentLand Use/ZoningMandate
Todd Edwards
This legislation requires counties and cities to consider the impact that a proposed zoning action has on local school systems and their potential overcrowding - if the local school system provides the county with information and data on such impact after the county request it.  ACCG worked to further amend the bill to require school boards to consider the impact on city or county infrastructure, particularly roads and traffic, when siting new schoolhouses.    
HB 0195OpposeAd Valorem Tax Exemption - Expansion for Property of CharitiesBrett Harrell
3/29/2018Senate Passed/Adopted By SubstituteWays & MeansFinance
2017/02/03-ReportHealth and Human ServicesLarry RamseyProperty TaxRevenue & 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 0204OpposeProperty Tax Bills - Not to Include Other Fees on Tax BillBrett Harrell
1/8/2018Senate RecommittedWays & MeansFinance
2017/02/03-Report2017/02/10 - Report2017/02/17-Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/24 - Report
Larry RamseyProperty TaxRevenue & 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 0205SupportFracking RegulationsJohn Meadows
5/8/2018Effective DateEnergy, Utilities & TelecommunicationsRegulated Industries and Utilities
2017/02/03-Report2017/02/24 - Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/17 - Report2017/03/24 - Report
2018/02/02 Report2018/03/09 ReportKathleen BowenNat. Res. & the EnvironmentRevenue & Finance
Sales Tax-LocalWater QualityWater Quantity

This legislation amends the Oil and Gas Deep Drilling Act of 1975. It requires the creation of regulations governing hydraulic fracturing. Counties and cities have the ability to adopt local zoning or land use ordinances limiting the location or timing of fracking activities to protect natural resources, human life and human welfare. A three percent severance tax will be required from the sale price of the gas and oil obtained. Counties, where the fracking occurs, can enact local ordinances or resolutions to levy its own severance tax, which can't exceed nine cents per barrel of oil or two cents per thousand cubic feet of gas.  

HB 0209NeutralDisabled Veteran Homestead ExemptionsLee Hawkins
1/8/2018Senate RecommittedWays & MeansFinance
2017/02/03-ReportLarry RamseyProperty TaxRevenue & Finance

This bill entitles a veteran who gets a final determination of disability letter containing a retroactive period of eligibility to get a refund of those ad valorem taxes paid that would otherwise have been exempt had the disabled status been in effect during the retroactive period, up to a maximum of three years under OCGA 48-5-380.

The text of this bill was added to HB 196. 

HB 0215NeutralT-SPLOST - Cities and Counties May Issue Bonds upon Voter ApprovalMeagan Hanson
2/7/2017House Second ReadersWays & Means
2017/02/03-ReportKathleen BowenRevenue & FinanceSales Tax-LocalTransportation Funding
This bill amends the single county TSPLOST and clarifies that a qualified municipality can issue general obligation bonds in conjunction with the levy of single county TSPLOST, in the same manner as the county. The language of this bill tracks the general SPLOST law on this issue. The text of this bill was incorporated into HB 134 that passed during the 2017 General Assembly session.
HB 0225OpposeSales and Use Taxes - Ride Share NetworksJay Powell
1/8/2018Senate RecommittedWays & MeansFinance
2017/02/03-Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/24 - ReportLarry RamseyRevenue & Finance
Sales Tax-Local
As originally introduced, this bill would have applied sales and use taxes to ride share networks (such as Uber) as well as limousine and taxi services. As amended in a Senate committee, however, HB 225 would exempt all such ride services from sales and use taxes.
HB 0227NeutralSales and Use Taxes - Direct Pay PermitsJay Powell
2/7/2017House Second ReadersWays & Means
2017/02/03-ReportLarry RamseyRevenue & FinanceSales Tax-Local
 This bill adds new requirements for refunds of state and local sales and use taxes where overpayment of tax is made pursuant to a direct payment permit issued by the Department of Revenue. This bill further defines direct pay permits and requires the Department of Revenue to establish rules for direct pay permits for certain large taxpayers. The direct pay program allows such taxpayers to retain and directly pay to DOR sales and use taxes, rather than making such tax payments to vendors. This bill is intended to change existing DOR rules on direct pay permits.
HB 0235NeutralSpeed Limit Posting in Urban or Residential DistrictsSpencer Frye
2/7/2017House Second ReadersGovernmental Affairs
2017/02/03-ReportEcon. Dev. & TransportationKathleen BowenLaw EnforcementMandate
Public Safety and CourtsRoadsTraffic Enforcement
This legislation decreases the lowest speed limit that counties can establish on roads in an urban or residential district from 25 to 20 miles per hour.
HB 0251SupportAllow EMS Personnel Access to Private Property During Declared State EmergencyDarrel Ealum
7/1/2017Effective DatePublic Safety and Homeland SecurityPublic Safety
2017/02/03-Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/17 - ReportDebra NesbitEmergency Management/Preparedness
EMS/AmbulanceFire ServicesLaw EnforcementPublic Safety and Courts
This legislation gives EMS and all first responders the right to enter private property during a disaster declared by the governor, for search and rescue, debris removal and providing aid.
HR 0051NeutralForest Land Conservation Valuation - Constitutional AmendmentJay Powell
5/2/2018Effective DateWays & MeansFinance
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-Report2017/02/24 - Report2017/03/06 - Report2018/03/23 Report
Larry RamseyProperty TaxRevenue & Finance
 This enabling constitutional amendment removes from the constitution the existing method of valuation of forest land conservation use (also known as FLPA property), which is tied to 2008 fair market valuation. Instead, such valuations would be updated every three years. Additional FLPA grants over a four-year period would be available to offset local government funding losses as a result of this valuation change. Additionally, this constitutional amendment also would create commercial timberland property as a separate class of property, which in turn would allow for different assessment of such property. It also allows DOR to withhold an administrative fee from FLPA grants for purposes of administering this new assessment process.The constitutional amendment, if ratified by the voters, will be implemented by HB 85.
SB 0004SupportEstablish Georgia Mental Health Treatment Task ForceRenee Unterman
3/30/2017House Disagreed Senate Amend or SubHealth & Human ServicesHealth and Human Services
2017/02/03-Report2017/02/10 - Report2017/03/17 - ReportCorrectional Institutions/JailDebra Nesbit
Health and Human ServicesIndigent Health CarePublic Safety and Courts
This legislation creates the Georgia Mental Health Treatment Task Force. 
SB 0006SupportGeorgia Commission on Transit Governance and FundingSteve Gooch
3/30/2017House Withdrawn, RecommittedTransportationTransportation
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-Report2017/02/24 - Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/17 - Report
Econ. Dev. & TransportationKathleen BowenTransit
This legislation creates the Georgia Commission on Transit Governance and Funding which will study and assess the needs for efficiencies, coordination and funding methods for mass transportation for any one or more metropolitan areas in Georgia. Composition of the commission includes representation from cities and counties who provide mass transportation and the directors of all metropolitan planning organizations serve as an ex officio member. 
SB 0065SupportTire Disposal Restrictions and FeesFrank Ginn
1/8/2018Senate RecommittedNatural Resources and the Environment
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-ReportForfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add OnsKathleen BowenNat. Res. & the Environment
Revenue & FinanceSolid Waste
This legislation requires tire retailers to collect the full amount of the scrap tire fee regardless of whether the customer leaves a scrap tire. The intent of this bill is to remove the incentive for individuals to take tires and illegally dump them. This bill does not apply to purchasers who are local governments or public utilities.  
SB 0079NeutralGambling - Georgia Destination Resort Act Brandon Beach
1/30/2017Senate Read and ReferredRegulated Industries and Utilities
2017/02/03-ReportAlcohol/TobaccoBusiness and Occupation TaxDistrict AttorneysEcon. Dev. & Transportation
Economic DevelopmentForfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add OnsGeorgia Bureau of InvestigationLand Use/ZoningPublic Safety and Courts
Todd EdwardsTourism
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.  .  .          
SB 0089NeutralGeorgia Freight Rail Program David Shafer
3/29/2018House Passed/Adopted By SubstituteTransportationTransportation
2017/02/03-ReportEcon. Dev. & TransportationEconomic DevelopmentKathleen BowenTransportation
This legislation entitled the "Georgia Right Track Act" creates a funding structure for a freight rail program which would be administered by the Georgia Department of Transportation. 
SB 0102SupportCreate Office of Cardiac Care Within the Department of Public HealthButch Miller
7/1/2017Effective DateHealth & Human ServicesHealth and Human Services
2017/02/03-Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/10 - ReportDebra NesbitEMS/Ambulance
Health and Human ServicesHospital AuthorityPublic Safety and Courts
This legislation creates the Office of Cardiac Care within the Department of Public Health to establish a program that identifies emergency cardiac care centers to ensure rapid triage, assessment, treatment and transport of patients who experience cardiac arrest, heart attack or complications.
SB 0107NeutralElections - Campaign Finance Disclosure Report Date ChangeFrancis Millar
2/20/2018House Second ReadersGovernmental AffairsEthics
2017/02/03-ReportElectionsEthicsGeneral County GovernmentTodd Edwards
This legislation changes the filing date of campaign contribution disclosure reports.
SB 0116OpposeStorm Water Utility Fees - Water Neutral Properties Frank Ginn
2/7/2017Senate Read and ReferredRegulated Industries and Utilities
2017/02/03-ReportKathleen BowenNat. Res. & the EnvironmentRevenue & FinanceStormwater
Utilities Water Quantity
This legislation prohibits counties and cities from assessing stormwater utility fees on properties certified as a water-neutral site by a professional engineer. The property owner would be responsible for submitting the proof of certification.
SR 0152NeutralJoint Study Committee on Stream BuffersFrank Ginn
3/16/2017House Passed/AdoptedNatural Resources & EnvironmentNatural Resources and the Environment
2017/02/03-Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/10 - Report2017/03/17 - ReportKathleen Bowen
Nat. Res. & the EnvironmentWater Quality
This legislation creates a Joint Study Committee on Stream Buffers in Georgia.