November 2023
Review the Legislative Toolkit to Get Prepared for the 2024 Legislative Session

The 2024 Legislative Toolkit is now available on the ACCG website. The Toolkit includes policy briefs on ACCG's top three Legislative Priorities as well as the association's Guiding Principles and Policy Objectives. The top three Legislative Priorities for 2024 include Emergency Medical Services (EMS) FundingMental Health Reform, and Property Tax Assessment and Appeal Reform.

The 2024 Legislative Toolkit is a resource that will aid Georgia's county government officials in becoming more engaged in the state's policy-making process while asserting the collective voice of county commissioners in legislative affairs. County officials are encouraged to share this information with their legislative delegation ahead of the 2024 session.  

Access the 2024 Legislative Toolkit by clicking here.  

Questions regarding any issues outlined in the Toolkit should be directed to a member of the Governmental Affairs Team.

Counties are Gaining Momentum on the Mental Health Resolution
More than half of Georgia's counties have adopted the mental health resolution. ACCG is encouraging every county to adopt the resolution urging the Governor and General Assembly to continue efforts to reform and improve mental health services for the citizens of Georgia. This resolution will demonstrate to the General Assembly how important mental health reform is to counties. Click here to download the model resolution.

ACCG asks for this to be adopted by Friday, December 8, 2023, prior to the start of the 2024 legislative session. Once your county has adopted the resolution, please send a signed copy to your local legislative delegation and Administrative and Policy Coordinator Tottianna Davis by emailing (

Click here for a special message from ACCG President & Baldwin County Commissioner Henry Craig on the importance of this effort.
2023 Fall Regional Meetings - Register Today

For the past week, ACCG staff have been traveling around the state to host a series of fall Regional Meetings. Make plans to join us at the meeting of your choice to discuss hot legislative issues and other topics impacting county government, connect with ACCG, and to network with your peers from surrounding counties.

There is still a chance for you to join us. For a list of remaining meeting dates and locations, click here. Please contact your county clerk to register.

Update on ACCG and GMA SDS/LOST Negotiations  
On November 6, ACCG and GMA staff and members met for the fourth time to discuss possible changes to the Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) and Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) laws. The negotiations teams are exploring the establishment of a formula to distribute LOST proceeds should cities and counties reach an impasse in negotiations and continue to work on a dispute resolution process for impasses in SDS negotiations. The groups will get back together in January to continue these discussions.  

ACCG’s SDS/LOST Subcommittee:
  • Travis Turner, White County Chairman
  • David Carmichael, Paulding County Chairman
  • Shannon Whitfield, Walker County Chairman
Ways and Means Ad Hoc Committee on Ad Valorem First Meeting

On October 11, the House Ways and Means Ad Hoc Committee on Ad Valorem met at the state capitol to hear testimony from various stakeholder groups, including ACCG. The presentation included all ACCG’s “Property Tax Assessment and Appeal Reform” legislative priority items for the 2024 session. These include removing the tax estimate from the assessment notice, the three-year lock, the sales ratio study, and the settlement conference loophole. The Committee also heard testimony on moving from 40% to 100% assessed value, and an old legislative proposal to make the sales price the fair market value until a subsequent sale occurs, which was addressed again during the October 18 meeting. 

Click here to view the presentation.

Pictured left to right in the front: ACCG Governmental Affairs Associate Dante Handel (far left), Paulding County Chief Appraiser James Stokes, and Hall County Chief Appraiser Steve Watson.

Ways and Means Ad Hoc Committee on Ad Valorem Second Meeting

The House Ways and Means Ad Hoc Committee on Ad Valorem met again on October 18 at the capitol to continue its work. The Committee heard testimony from many chief appraisers, including Suzanne Widenhouse of Columbus-Muscogee County, who presented on the constitutional freeze on values for homesteaded properties in her county that went into effect in the early eighties. Her presentation addressed the effects of such a freeze over time, including the potential inequity between neighboring taxpayers. This highlighted potential concerns with the proposal from the October 11 Committee meeting to freeze the fair market value of all properties at the sales price. ACCG and the Georgia Municipal Association provided joint recommendations to the Committee members for their consideration.

To access a recording of the second meeting, click here.
Senate Study Committee on Local Option Sales Tax Meets

The Senate Study Committee on Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) met in Chatham County on October 17 to hear testimony from ACCG on LOST. The prior Committee meeting focused on testimony from the Department of Revenue and the Georgia Municipal Association. ACCG presented on the history of LOST, issues with the eight criteria, and potential solutions. The Committee heard testimony from Greene County Manager Byron Lombard, Chatham County Attorney Jonathan Hart, and Jeff Davis County Administrator Heather Scott. The Committee will meet next in Spalding County. 

Click here to watch the meeting.
ACCG Governmental Affairs Associate Presents at the 2023 GAAO Fall Seminar

The Georgia Association of Assessing Officials (GAAO) held its fall seminar on October 23 in Towns County. ACCG Governmental Affairs Associate Dante Handel spoke to the group about the upcoming legislative session, including issues on which both associations are collaborating. These include removing the tax estimate from the assessment notice, the three-year lock, and the sales ratio study, all of which are included in ACCG’s “Property Tax Assessment and Appeal Reform” Policy Agenda item.  
State News
Senate Public Safety Subcommittee on Fulton County Jail Holds its First Meeting
On November 2, the Senate Public Safety Committee held a subcommittee meeting focused on the Fulton County jail. In the meeting there were presentations by the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, Georgia Jail Association, and the Fulton County Sheriffs’ Office. Presenters spoke on the mental health challenges that exist in jails, overcrowding of inmates, and the different types of detainees that exist in county jails, such as state prisoners. ACCG is monitoring the work of this Committee to observe if any legislation is produced.

SDS - Georgia Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Unincorporated Roads

On October 17, the Georgia Supreme Court heard arguments on Winder v. Barrow County, an important SDS case that has far-reaching, statewide implications on whether city residents can be taxed to pay for counties’ unincorporated roads. The main question in this appeal is the interpretation of the “primary benefit” clause in the SDS law, here in the county roads context. That statutory clause is among the criteria for a service delivery strategy: “The strategy shall ensure that the cost of any service which a county provides primarily for the benefit of the unincorporated area of the county shall be borne by the unincorporated area residents, individuals, and property owners who receive the service.”
At the trial court level, Winder asked the trial court to rule categorically that, if a county only provides road maintenance service on roads within the unincorporated area, then it must use unincorporated revenues to pay for such road maintenance. In other words, the city’s argument was focused solely on the geography where the service is provided, as opposed to the residents and property owners, etc. that might be using and benefitting from that road maintenance. The trial court rejected that categorical approach, and Winder appealed to the Court of Appeals.

The 2-judge majority in the Court of Appeals ruled in the categorically opposite way: that everyone always benefits from county road systems and therefore counties aren’t limited to unincorporated revenues to pay for such roads. The 1-judge dissent would have ruled with Winder, saying that the analysis is purely a geographic one: if a service is physically provided only in the unincorporated area, then it primarily benefits that area and only unincorporated revenues can be used to pay for that service.
Click here to watch the oral arguments.

120Water Georgia Training Registration

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) selected 120Water to help the state manage the lead service line inventory database. 120Water will conduct webinars/trainings to help educate water system staff about the platform for submitting lead service line inventory data to EPD. They are offering several dates and times to ensure everyone has the opportunity to attend.

For more information on the webinars, click here.

Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) Funding Opportunities

Call for Projects: Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)

The GEFA call for projects is open for the Annual Base State Revolving Fund and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Supplemental Funding. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is a federally funded loan program that provides funding for a wide variety of water quality and non-point source projects and water and energy conservation projects. The call for projects is open until Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.

More details on the CWSRF loan program can be found here.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program through GEFA is designed to local governments implement strategies to reduce energy use, lower fossil fuel emissions, and improve energy efficiency. Georgia will receive $2.9 million to disperse to local governments throughout the state.

For more information on how to apply, click here.

Home Energy Rebate Programs

The federal Inflation Reduction Act included two rebate programs for home energy efficiency and home electrification projects. GEFA expects the rebates to be available to Georgia residents no later than September 30, 2024.

Click here to learn more about the home energy rebate programs.
Federal News
Register for NACo's 2024 Legislative Conference

Registration is now open for the 2024 NACo Legislative Conference. The conference will take place February 10 - 13 in Washington, D.C. Attendees have the opportunity to engage in policy and educational sessions, interact with federal officials, and participate in congressional briefings and meetings.

Click here for more information.

Clean Energy Tax Incentives: Elective Pay Eligible Tax Credits

The Inflation Reduction Act introduced tax credits referred to as elective pay or often called direct pay, which allows tax-exempt and governmental entities to receive a payment equal to the full value of tax credits for building qualifying clean energy projects. The new provisions will enable states, local governments, tribes, territories, and nonprofits to actively invest in building a clean energy economy, help save residents money, and improve overall public health.

Click here to learn more about the tax credits.
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View the 2024 ACCG Legislative Toolkit Here!

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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.