July 2023
2023 Summer Policy Committee Meetings - Agendas Available

Agendas for ACCG's policy committee meetings are now available. Review the draft agendas for an overview on the key topics that will be explored during each meeting. ACCG's seven standing Policy Committees will meet twice, in Toombs and Forsyth counties, to discuss key issues and recommend policy objectives for the 2024 ACCG Policy Agenda. The issues discussed and decided upon will guide the Association's advocacy efforts before the Georgia General Assembly, Congress, and federal and state agencies in 2024. County officials can choose to attend all policy committee meetings or the ones in which they are interested.

Registration is open for the Northern, Southern and Federal policy committee meetings. The Northern and Southern meetings are repeated in each location so registration is only necessary for one set of meetings. While it is encouraged to participate, it is not required to attend every committee meeting. More details can be found here.

ACCG Standing Committee on Mental Health & Substance Abuse Committee Holds First Meeting

The ACCG Standing Committee on Mental Health & Substance Abuse held its first meeting on June 21 in Baldwin County/Milledgeville. Comprised of county officials from across the state, the goal of the Committee is to establish a clearinghouse for all 159 Georgia counties looking to improve or create mental health resources in their communities. 

Members of ACCG’s Mental Health & Substance Abuse Committee are:
  • Chairwoman Cindy Mills, Forsyth County
  • Commissioner Kathy Cooper, Hall County
  • Commissioner Clinton Johnson, Dougherty County
  • Commissioner Helen Stone, Chatham County
  • Commissioner Chris Gaines, Dawson County
  • Commissioner Larry Johnson, DeKalb County
  • Commissioner Jasper Watkins, Gwinnett County
  • Commissioner Audie Rowe, Cook County
  • Commissioner Doreen Williams, Rockdale County
  • St. Terry Hawkins, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office 

Click here to read an article published by the Union Recorder to learn more about the Standing Committee.
ACCG Presents Representative Martin Momtahan a 2023 Legislative Service Award 

Todd Edwards, ACCG’s Deputy Director of Governmental Affairs, presented Rep. Martin Momtahan a 2023 ACCG Legislative Service Award at the Paulding County Board of Commissioners meeting on July 27. Rep. Momtahan was instrumental in addressing county concerns with several efforts to preempt local governments’ zoning and land use authority for the past two legislative sessions, recognizing that these decisions are best made at the local level. 

For the listing of ACCG’s 2023 Legislative Service Award recipients, please click here.
ACCG Welcomes New Governmental Affairs Team Member

ACCG is pleased to announce the hiring of Martha Revelo as the Associate Director of Governmental Affairs. In this role, Martha will staff the association’s Natural Resources, Transportation, and Federal policy committees, advocating ACCG’s positions before state and federal governments and administrative agencies. Martha, a former ACCG intern, most recently served as the Northeast Georgia Outreach Director for U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock. She received both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the Georgia State University and currently resides in Fulton County. For Martha’s full bio, please click here.     
ACCG Says Farewell to Kathleen Bowen

ACCG's Associate Director of Governmental Affairs, Kathleen Bowen, is leaving to pursue another career opportunity. She has been a tremendous asset to our association for more than 15 years. Though she will be greatly missed, we are all excited for her as she embarks on the next step in her professional career. Join us in congratulating Kathleen on a time well served at ACCG and sending her well wishes on her future endeavors.

ACCG Shares Disaster Relief Model Resolution

ACCG has developed a model resolution for the Disaster Relief Enabling Act, HB 311, which passed during the 2023 legislative session. The model resolution is intended to be used by counties within a federal disaster declaration area to provide optional temporary tax relief to eligible tax parcels. Should you have questions regarding how to utilize the model resolution, please contact your county attorney. The model resolution may be found here.

Computing County Official Salaries Guide Now Available 

The "Computing County Official Salaries for 2024" guidebook is now available. ACCG publishes this guidebook annually to assist counties in calculating salaries (as of January 1, 2024) of certain county officials, as well as state officials who receive supplements to their salaries from the county. The procedure outlined in this guidebook has been reviewed and approved by the Constitutional Officers Association of Georgia (COAG), the Magistrate Council of Georgia, and ACCG. 

ACCG Policy Committee Issues Survey
Your Input Is Needed!

ACCG would like to gauge what issues counties are facing that need state or federal assistance, a change to state or federal law, or a modification to state or federal agency rules and regulations. To capture the policy issues affecting your county, we ask that you take the brief survey found here.
State News
EPD Tire Grant Program 

This summer the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is launching a Tire Products (Tire) Grant for projects that incorporate scrap tire-derived products into paving, trail, and playground surfaces or that identify innovative uses for these products through research. The Tire Grant provides financial support to projects in Georgia that reduce solid waste, support manufacturing and market development for scrap tires, and encourage innovation. Awarded grant funds will pay for the direct costs related to the incorporation of tire-derived products into projects that would normally utilize new or virgin materials, or for research projects to support scrap tire innovations.
Additional information, application forms, and FAQs can be found at https://epd.georgia.gov/tire-products-tire-grant.

GTIB Awards Grants and Loans to Georgia Counties

Gov. Kemp and the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) Board of Directors recently announced the approval of $17.3 million in Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB) loans and grants that will help fund seven transportation infrastructure projects across the state. Two of those seven funded projects are for Monroe and Pike Counties. Click here to learn more about the awarded projects.

House and Senate Appoint Members of the Joint Service Delivery Study Committee 

Senate Resolution 175 was passed during the 2023 legislative session, establishing the Joint Study Committee on Service Delivery Strategy (SDS). This group is charged with examining and recommending revisions to SDS, particularly focused on resolving disputes between counties and cities that are at an impasse in their negotiations. The joint study committee will be meeting during the legislative interim and must submit its report and any suggested legislative proposals by December 1, 2023. ACCG (see below) is working with GMA on providing recommendations to improve the SDS process. See the joint study committee’s appointments and keep up with its meetings here.     

ACCG’s SDS Negotiating Team:
  • Travis Turner, Chairman, White County
  • David Carmichael, Chairman, Paulding County 
  • Shannon Whitfield, Chairman, Walker County   

Georgia Counties that Own, Operate, or Maintain Traffic Control Devices and Traffic Management Systems Must be Members of Georgia 811 by January 1, 2024

Effective January 1, 2024, counties that own, operate, or maintain traffic control devices and traffic management systems must have joined Georgia 811 and begin locating these devices and management systems when other utilities excavate within the public’s right-of-way. Depending on their contracts/agreements with the Georgia Department of Transportation, counties may also be required for locating traffic control devices and management systems on state roads within their jurisdiction, thus also requiring membership with Georgia 811. 

Please click here for important information on this new state requirement.  

Reminder of Exemption on Timber Harvesting Equipment

A personal property tax exemption on all timber harvesting equipment passed on the ballot in November 2022 and went into effect on January 1, 2023. Since this is the first year it will impact your property tax digest, please be aware of this change and contact your Chief Appraiser for additional information. The Department of Revenue has not created a new digest code for this exemption, so your Chief Appraiser will have the most accurate information on how this exemption is impacting your county. For more information, click here.

DOR Issues Policy Bulletin on Registration of Side by Sides

HB 121 from this year’s legislative session authorized side by sides to be voluntarily registered and tagged so they may be driven on county roads. The Department of Revenue has issued a policy bulletin to tag offices which answers many frequently asked questions. The policy bulletin may be found here.
Federal News
2023 ACCG Federal Committee Meeting - Register Now

Registration is open for the ACCG Federal Policy Committee Meeting taking place in Baldwin County on Thursday, August 3 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Join the Federal Policy Committee Chair Oz Nesbitt (chairman of Rockdale County) and Committee Vice Chair Carlotta Harrell (chair of Henry County) as we discuss federal issues important to Georgia’s counties. The agenda includes a legislative update from the National Association of Counties (NACo) and discussions on mental health and housing efforts at the federal level. Additionally, congressional staff in attendance will provide an update from their districts. This segment of the meeting is always useful to hear directly from congressional staff on the issues/hot topics. 

Click here to register and view the draft agenda.
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ACCG is YOUR county association. We are here to advance all 159 Georgia county governments. Please feel free to contact a member of the policy team if they can assist in any way.