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Georgia Department Of Revenue
Local Government Services Division
2002 Legislation
Synopsis and Effective Dates

House Bill 337 Tax Sales; excess funds payment

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-3-19, 48-4-1, 48-4-5 and 48-4-42)

This bill repeals completely the law providing for the sale and transfer of tax executions to individuals or in lot blocks, thus removing the ability of individuals to purchase fifas and exercise the same power and authority as the tax commissioner in collecting such fifas.

This bill modifies the provision of 48-4-1, which permits two or more tax executions to be combined and a single sale held to collect the tax, and adds a provision that notice only has to be given to the defendant on at least one of the executions. It also provides that the 12 month period of redemption on all such consolidated executions starts on the date of the sale.

This bill also deals with the excess funds left over from a tax sale and allows the tax commissioner to deposit the funds with the superior court where actions may be filed by interested parties for such excess (48-4-5).

This bill reduces the amount that must be paid by a former owner to redeem property that has been sold at a tax sale in certain instances. The first year premium remains at 20% of the sale price, but the subsequent year premiums have been reduced from 20% to 10%. Also the 20% premium added when the new owner has sent the required notice that the right of redemption is about to be lost in 30-days has been eliminated altogether and the new owner can only recover the cost of such notice.

Effective Date: Upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.


House Bill 547 Unpaid taxes; certain elderly and lower income taxpayers;waive interest

Amends: (O.C.G.A 48-5-242)

This bill allows the tax commissioner to waive interest for county taxes, municipal or school taxes charged taxpayers 65 years of age or older whose annual gross household income is $20,000 or less, if the taxpayer has resided at the subject property for not less than ten years. The waiver must be subject to the approved of the governing authorities of the county, school and cities either by general resolution setting forth the terms and conditions of a waiver or on a case by case basis.

Effective Date: July 1, 2002


House Bill 783 Forfeited property; distribution; land bank authorities

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 16-13-49)

This bill adds new options for the court to distribute confiscated real property which is forfeited due to the presence of certain contraband items on the property. It allows such property to be turned over to the state, counties, cities or land bank authorities.

Effective Date: Upon the approval of the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.


House Bill 1106 Ad valorem tax exemptions; certain counties; population classification

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-40(3)(L))

This bill revises the population brackets in the code to the new 2000 census numbers to allow Butts County homeowners living on leased property, primarily lake lots, to continue receiving a homestead exemption. Normally, ownership of the land is required to qualify.

Effective Date: July 1, 2002


House Bill 1217 Ad valorem tax; surviving spouses of certain militarypersonnel; exemption

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-52.1)

This bill amends the code and extends the disabled veterans exemption to un-remarried surviving spouses of veterans who were not killed in a war or armed conflict (current law) but died later as a result.

Effective Date: This bill shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. This bill must be ratified by the citizens of Georgia in the November 2002 election, if ratified the act will be in effect January 1, 2003.


House Bill 1244 Ad valorem tax; certain historic property; medicalmuseum

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-41)

This bill establishes a tax exemption for certain historic property, which is listed on the National or Georgia Register for Historic Places and owned by a nonprofit corporation, which houses a medical museum or medical society.

Effective Date: This bill shall become effective upon the Governors approval or upon its becoming law without such approval. The citizens of Georgia in the November 2002 election must ratify this bill, if ratified the act shall become effective January 1, 2003.


House Bill 1278 Board of tax assessors; removal of member; provisions

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-295)

This bill adds a provision that a hearing before a judge is required before removing any assessor from office (current law affords this right only when the assessor is also an appraiser). The bill further adds a pattern of incorrect assessments or the failure to maintain uniformity as grounds for removing an assessor from office.

Effective Date: July 1, 2002


House Bill 1288 Ad valorem tax; exempt certain commercial docksidefacilities

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-7)

This bill provides for the assessment for ad valorem tax purposes of certain commercial dockside facilities whose primary use is the landing and processing of seafood at 20% of its fair market value rather than 40%.

Effective Date: January 1, 2003 provided the voters of Georgia in the November 2002 election ratify the companion House Resolution 364, otherwise it stands repealed.

House Bill 1321 Bona fide agricultural property; preferential assessment;certain owners

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-7.1, 48-5-7.4, 36-89-1, 36-89-2, 36-89-4, and 36-89-5)

This bill provides an "early out" option three years into a renewal conservation or preferential use covenant where the taxpayer is at least 65. Normally the covenants are for a full 10 years.

This bill also allows the property owner to use the property for hunting purposes and still qualify for conservation use assessment. Previous law only allowed the hunting rights to be leased to others.

This bill redefines the applicable rollback as it relates to the homeowner tax relief grants and extends the grant to apply to taxes levied by municipalities and within special tax districts.

Effective Date: Upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall be applicable to all taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2002.


House Bill 1391 Ad valorem tax; exempt certain fishing vessels; catchingof seafood

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-41)

This bill seeks to provide a tax exemption for commercial fishing vessels whose primary use is the catching of seafood.

Effective Date: Upon its approval by the Governor or upon it becoming law without such approval.  The voters of Georgia in the November 2002 election must ratify this bill; if ratified this bill becomes effective January 1, 2003.


House Bill 1449 Ad valorem tax; time for making returns; changepopulation brackets

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-18 paragraph h)

This bill updates a population bracket, which only includes Clarke County, to continue to permit them to use March 1st as a deadline for filing property tax returns. Normal deadline is April 1st.

Effective Date: July 1, 2002


House Bill 1489 Laws and provisions; classification by population revise

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-24)

This bill updates the population brackets to allow DeKalb County to continue their provisions for two-installment ad valorem tax billing.

This bill updates the population brackets to allow Fulton County to continue charging an additional 12% interest on tax bills that exceed $1,000.

This bill updates the population brackets to allow Cobb County to continue to bill in installments with a 1st installment deadline of August 15 and a 2nd installment deadline of October 15.

Effective Date: July 1, 2002


House Bill 1559 Homestead exemption; certain counties; time for makingapplication

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-45)

This bill updates the population bracket to allow Clarke County to continue to use March 31st as the deadline for taking homestead exemptions. Normally this deadline is June 1st.

Effective Date: July 1, 2002


House Resolution 126 Tax defaulter ineligible to hold public office

Amends: Article X, Section I, Paragraph II of the Constitution

This resolution, if ratified by the voters, would make a person ineligible to hold an elected or appointed office if they are a defaulter on any federal, state, county, municipal or school systems taxes. The ineligibility may be removed by the payment of the tax.

Effective Date: This resolution must be ratified by the voters of Georgia in the November 2002 election, if ratified this resolution becomes law immediately.


House Resolution 364 Ad valorem tax; certain dockside facilities; separateclass of property

Amends: Article VII, Section I, Paragraph III of the Constitution

This resolution authorizes the General Assembly to establish a separate class of property and separate methods of taxing commercial dockside facilities consisting of real and personal property whose primary use is the landing and processing of seafood. The enabling legislation is HB 1288, which would tax this type property at 20% rather than 40% of fair market value.

Effective Date: This resolution must be ratified by the voters of Georgia in the November 2002 election, if ratified this resolution becomes law immediately.


House Resolution 391 County/municipality; community redevelopment taxincentive program

Amends: Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VII of the Constitution

This resolution empowers counties and cities to establish community redevelopment tax incentive programs for properties, other than homes, maintained in a blighted condition area, and tax the properties in such districts at a higher rate of taxation. It also provides for the counties and municipalities to decrease the taxation, even below taxes charged similar properties not in the blighted area, if the owners submit an acceptable plan to rehabilitate the properties over time.

Effective Date: This resolution must be ratified by the voters of Georgia in the November 2002 election, if ratified this resolution becomes law immediately.


House Resolution 1073 Ad valorem tax; separate class; certain low-incomeprojects

Amends: Article VII, Section I, Paragraph III of the Constitution

This resolution authorizes the General Assembly to create a separate class of property for ad valorem tax purposes for qualified low-income building projects and allow different rates, methods and assessment dates for this type of property.

Effective Date: This resolution must be ratified by the voters of Georgia in the November 2002 election, if ratified this resolution becomes law immediately.


Senate Bill 354 Counties of 650,000 or more; tax collectors; commissions

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-6-73)

This bill revises the population brackets to prevent Cobb and Gwinnett from moving into a different bracket that would have reduced their commissions on recording intangible tax from 6% to 4%. Currently only DeKalb and Fulton are in the 4% bracket, but Cobb and Gwinnett would have joined them without this bill.

Effective Date: July 1, 2002


Senate Bill 405 County taxes; ad valorem; installment payments;population and census application

Amends: (O.C.G.A. 48-5-24)

This bill updates the population brackets to permit DeKalb County to continue collecting ad valorem taxes in two installments with different due dates and penalty provisions than that provided in the general statute.

Effective Date: July 1, 2002

 

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