Senate Passes Bill Proposing Amendment to Prevent Legislature from Collecting Ad Valorem Taxes

ATLANTA — The Georgia state Senate has passed a measure proposing an amendment to the Georgia Constitution to prevent the Georgia General Assembly from re-enacting future ad valorem taxes.

Senate Resolution 783, sponsored by Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, passed the Georgia State Senate today by a vote of 38 to 13.

“In a time when the federal government continues to impose increasingly heavy tax burdens, preventing future tax increases at the state level is the right thing to do,” Heath said in a statement. “Many claim the ad valorem tax on one’s home to be the most egregious tax Georgia collects. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure Georgia’s tax code is conducive to growing businesses and allowing families to prosper.”

As a result of the comprehensive tax reform package adopted in 2012, the state has already begun the systematic process of phasing-out the ad valorem. The quarter-mill ad valorem tax will be phased out prior to the time the resolution would take effect, which will be on January 1, 2016.

The ad valorem tax is a minor source of revenue in Georgia, reaching a peak of only $80 million prior to its phase out. Currently, the state’s largest revenue streams include the individual state income tax and the sales and use tax.

The constitutional amendment prohibiting the collection of ad valorem taxes will not apply to public utilities, railroad companies or airlines, or administrative functions that are subject to local ad valorem taxation.

SR 783 will now be passed to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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