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Chambers Begin Work on Budgets

Tuesday, February 9, 2016   (0 Comments)
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2016 GEDA Legislative Report #4

The General Assembly reconvened on Monday, February 1, 2016; Day 13 of the session, and adjourned week four on Thursday, February, 4, 2016; Day 16.

Budget

The Senate began work of the Amended FY-16 Budget.  The House began hearings on the FY-2017 budget.

Bills

Bills introduced during, or before week four of the session, that may be of interest to GEDA members are listed below.

HB 356 – Stephens of the 164th

Amends Title 48 of the OCGA relating to revenue and taxation, so as to provide for the ad valorem taxation of certain watercraft; to amend Title 52 of the OCGA relating to waters of the state, ports, and watercraft, so as to provide for the titling and registration of certain watercraft; to provide for legislative intent and findings; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

This is a 64 page bill.  The bill proposes to create a system for issuing titles for watercraft to deter theft; facilitate the ownership, transfer, and financing of watercraft; create a title ad valorem tax for watercraft, reduce the tax burden of watercraft ownership; and create a level playing field and fairness for the selling of watercraft by dealers, brokers, agents, private parties, and manufacturers.

HB 487 – Parsons of the 44th

Amends Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the OCGA relating to sales and use taxes, so as to provide for the comprehensive revision of sales and use tax provisions for all entities participating in the data center industry; to change and provide for definitions; to change and provide for exemptions; to provide for legislative intent and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to exempt the electricity and certain data center equipment purchased to provide data center services from the state sales and use tax.  The sale, use, storage, or consumption of eligible business property and electricity which is necessary and integral to an Internet data center in this state will be exempt from all sales and use taxation. The exemption will be implemented over four years. With 25 percent being phased in each year beginning on January 1, 2017 and reaching 100 percent on January 1, 2020. To qualify for the exemption, the company has to meet investment and job creation criteria to include at least $50 million in private investment.

HB 894 – Dudgeon of the 25th

Amends Chapter 71 of Title 36 of the OCGA relating to development impact fees, so as to provide for development impact fees for education; to provide definitions; to provide for the manner of calculation, imposition, and collection of such fees; to provide for related matters; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to create the ‘Georgia Development Impact Fee Act’.  ‘High growth school systems’ would be authorized to collect education development impact fees to pay for a share of the cost of additional education facilities to serve new growth and development in the same area in which such fees are imposed.  To qualify, a school system must have experienced an increase in the number of students enrolled in the system of 15 percent or more over the immediately preceding five-year period; or experienced an increase in the number of students enrolled in the system of a least 10 percent over the immediately preceding four-year period and is projected over the next year to experience an increase in the number of enrolled students so that at the end of the following year the system is projected to have increased by 15 percent.   

HB 898 – Ramsey of the 72nd

Amends Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the OCGA relating to sales and use taxes, so as to change the rate and use of such taxes collected on aviation fuel and aviation jet fuel; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to exempt any state or local sales and use tax on the sale or use of aviation fuel beginning July 1, 2016.  Aviation jet fuel purchased and delivered within the state or stored within the state for use in aircraft operated by of for a qualifying airline at a qualifying airport (750,000 takeoffs and landings during a calendar year) will be subject to the tax only to the extent such fuel is consumed in the state in the operation of an aircraft.  Twenty percent of aviation jet fuel loaded into an aircraft whose first destination is a location outside of this state shall be deemed to be consumed in this state.  All fuel loaded into an aircraft whose first destination is a location within this state shall be deemed to be consumed in this state.

SB 320 – Watson of the 1st

Amends Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 40 of the OCGA relating to issuance, expiration, and renewal of licenses, so as to revise the exemptions afforded to nonresidents who have in their immediate possession a valid driver’s license issued to them in their home state or country; to provide for certain presumptions of validity of a driver’s license issued by the driver’s licensing authority of a foreign country; to provide for exceptions; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to allow persons who are a nonresident of the state and possess a valid driver’s license issued for them in their home state or country meets the requirements of Code Section 40-5-21.3 for a valid nonresident driver’s license.

SB 323 – Dugan of the 30th

Amends Chapter 18 of Title 50 of the OCGA relating to state printing and documents pertaining to an economic development project by any agency; to provide for related matters; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to extend to other state agencies and authorities confidentiality and public disclosure requirements presently given to the Department of Economic Development as it relates to an economic development project.

SB 326 – Jeffares of the 17th

Amends Chapter 7 of Title 12 of the OCGA relating to the control of soil erosion and sedimentation so as to shorten the time period for permit issuance or denial by local issuing authorities; to clarity qualification standards for erosion and sediment control plan designers and reviewers; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to shorten the time that local governments have to issue or deny a request for a permit related to soil erosion and sedimentation from 45 days to 14 days.  The bill would also provide for different levels of training for individuals involved in land disturbing activities.

SB 330 – Beach of the 21st

Amends an Act known as the “Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965” so as to provide for a definition; to provide that transit oriented development and property of the Authority not used for transportation or rapid transit purposes shall be subject to local planning and zoning requirements of the Constitution of Georgia; to provide for procedures, conditions, and limitations for the imposition of an additional ½  percent retail sales and use tax; to provide for the selection and submission of rapid transit projects to be funded by the revenue of such tax; to provide for a limitation on the collection of a tax for transportation purposes in certain counties upon  imposition of an additional ½ percent retail sales and use tax; to provide for a referendum; to provide for an additional referendum under certain conditions; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to authorize an additional ½ percent retail sales and use tax dedicated to funding rapid transit projects.  The additional tax levy can only be authorized following a majority vote of registered voters in of the territory of the local government electing to hold a referendum. 


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