It may have been a meeting about the Vinings neighborhood, but state Sen. Doug Stoner spent most of his allotted speaking time talking about Georgia’s reformed vehicle tax at the Vinings Village Homeowners Association annual meeting Tuesday.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, Georgians buying new cars will no longer pay ad valorem tax, the tax paid each year on the assessed value of the vehicle. Stoner said this change to Georgia tax code is probably the most impactful piece of legislation passed during the session that ended March 29.
What do you think about the end of ad valorem tax? Tell us in the comments.
Instead of paying an annual ad valorem tax, those who purchase new vehicles after 2013 will pay a one time 6.5 percent sales tax that will eventually be phased up to 7 percent, he said. However, taxpayers who currently own vehicles will still be subject to ad valorem tax.
“If you currently have a vehicle, you will continue to pay ad valorem tax,” Stoner said. “As you know over time it depreciates and you pay less and less tax. That will be totally phased out if you still have your car 10 years from now.”
Stoner said the changes to the tax code caused alarm for some local government bodies that receive a significant portion of their revenue from ad valorem tax.
“You can imagine local governments had a lot of interest in what we were doing down at the State Capitol,” he said. “Some of them didn’t seem to trust us to say, ‘Don’t worry we’ll give you your fair share.’ So we came up with a very precise, very negotiated—I can tell you this was a lot of discussion on this—so we basically protect the local governments from harm. Right now about a billion dollars a year is what local governments raise with this ad valorem tax on vehicles.”
The changes to the tax code also mean that Georgians now have to pay sales tax when they purchase a used vehicle from a private citizen. Stoner said that was technically the law before the changes to the tax code were passed, but it wasn’t enforced.
“If you want to buy a vehicle from your neighbor, the value of that vehicle, whatever you purchased it for, when you get titled you will pay that percentage starting at 6.5 and up to 7 percent,” he said.
Stoner said the state will grant an exception if the buyer can prove that the vehicle is being purchased from an immediate relative.
Members of the Vinings Village Homeowners Association also voted new members to their governing body: Glenn Dyke, president; Ken Lynch, vice president; Phil Handler, secretary; Jim Polk, treasurer; Bill Voegli, membership chair; Cliff Meinhardt, Area III representative; Dolph Orthwein Jr., Area IV representative; and Kathryn Senkbeil, Area VIII representative.
Members of the Vinings Village Homeowners Association also heard from representative from Cobb County about the and received information about the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area being named a national water trail. Smyrna-Vinings Patch will have more coverage of the meeting later.