State and Local Politicians Discuss Georgia Tax and Budget Issues

October 29, 2012
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Todd Edwards giving information to the department heads.

Late last week an all star cast of local politicians were in Elbert County to explain concerns in the Georgia Legislature to the different department heads of the county.

In attendance were State Senators Bill Jackson and Frank Ginn, State Representative Tom McCall, and Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) Representative Todd Edwards.

Edwards was the primary speaker during the seminar, and spoke heavily on the tax situation in Georgia. One point he touched on was making sure cuts and unfunded mandates didn’t blow back on county governments.

“Over the past couple of years, when you are looking at what is called a tax cut, we are trying to make sure it is not a tax shift that is moving the financial responsibilities to the counties”, said Edwards. “At the end of the day, the burden is going to fall on the counties if we do not communicate with the State Legislature. Frankly, the counties are in just as difficult in terms of budget, as the State Legislatures.”

According to Edwards, one of the things that the ACCG is fighting for is making sure that all county services stay in tact despite what happens with the state’s budgetary problems.

 

There was also a lot of discussion about the re-worked vehicle tax policy, which goes into effect after March 1st of 2013.

The policy will eliminate the “birthday tax” in phase out fashion. State Senator Frank Ginn cleared up some confusion in how the new policy relates to new vehicle purchases.

“If you go buy a new car today, you will pay 7% sales tax. If you go buy a new car on March 1st, you will pay a 6.5% Fee instead of the 7% sales tax. You will not be paying both the 6.5% and 7% fees”, said Ginn.

The new policy greatly favors current Georgia residents and long term vehicle owners; however, those who find themselves moving to Georgia or those who frequently trade in vehicles will see a harsher impact from the new tax plan.

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