July 2021
Registration Now Open for Summer Policy Committee Meetings

ACCG is providing county commissioners and staff three opportunities to have input in ACCG’s policy development process. All county commissioners and county staff are encouraged to participate in one or more committee meetings taking place in two in-person locations and a third virtual option. These meetings provide county officials with an opportunity to discuss state and federal policies impacting their county and additional state and federal support they may need. Some of the issues we know the committees will take up this year include: paying for notices in the legal organ, reforms to the annexation dispute resolution process, election law changes, regulation of short-term rentals, regulation and fees charged to private users of county right of way, funding and implementing Next Generation E-911, regulation of by-product disposal through land application, airport infrastructure funding, changes to juvenile court jurisdiction, reorganization of local boards of health, mental health reforms, EMS funding, and property tax reforms. Many of these issues have a direct impact on your county, and being involved in the discussion protects your county's point of view and provides a wealth of information that you can bring back to your county for additional discussion. A significant number of policy decisions impacting your county are made by other levels of government. County Commissioners (the locally elected policymakers) and the professional staff that supports them must be actively engaged with other levels of government outside their county boundaries to protect their local interests and represent their constituents. The opportunity to do that starts with becoming involved with ACCG’s policy committees. To register, click here.
DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson Elected President of the National Association of Counties (NACo)

Congratulations to Commissioner Larry Johnson on being elected to serve as NACo's President. He was sworn in by DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond during NACo’s Business Meeting on Monday, July 12. In Johnson's remarks, he spoke on the strength of counties during the COVID-19 pandemic and outlined his presidential priority, the THRIVE (Technology, Health, Readiness, Infrastructure, Vulnerable populations and Economic opportunities) initiative. Click here to learn more about Commissioner Johnson and to watch his inaugural address. Photo courtesy of NACo

ACCG Announces and Begins Presenting 2021 Legislative and Policy Awards

In June, ACCG announced the recipients of both its 2021 Legislative Service Awards and Policy Appreciation Awards for legislators and county officials having demonstrated exemplary leadership and support on issues benefitting counties and sound public policy. While a full write-up of these awards and recipients will be included in the next issue of Georgia County Government magazine, these accolades have already been presented to:

Legislative Service Awards
  • June 21 – Representative Victor Anderson, for sponsoring HB 134 and HR 222
  • June 24 – Representative Vance Smith, for sponsoring and working with ACCG on HB 449,
  • July 13 – Representative Eddie Lumsden, for sponsoring HB 98, and 
  • July 13 – Senator Chuck Hufstetler, for his outstanding leadership in chairing the Senate Finance Committee. 

Policy Appreciation Awards
  • June 15 – Lynn Bailey, Augusta-Richmond County Election Superintendent, for working with ACCG on understanding election legislation, and    
  • July 6 – Debra Presswood, Houston County Election Supervisor, for working with ACCG on understanding election legislation.  

More award presentations will be made in the coming months. Thanks again to all of them for their invaluable service to Georgia counties.

Reminder: ACCG Local Redistricting Webinar

Please join ACCG on Wednesday, July 21 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. for the Local Redistricting Webinar. Gina Wright, the Executive Director for the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office, will present information on the local redistricting process and the steps and decisions counties will need to make to begin work on redistricting. The webinar will focus on changes made to state law in 2019 that altered the local redistricting process. The materials covered will help counties better prepare to receive and use the 2020 Census redistricting data that should be made available to county governments in September.

Register in advance for this webinar:

2021 County Officials Salary Guide Now Available

The "Computing County Official Salaries for 2022" guidebook is now available. It provides directions for calculating county official salaries effective January 1, 2022. This guidebook is published annually by ACCG to assist counties in calculating salaries of certain county officials, as well as state officials who receive supplements to their salaries from the county. The procedure set forth in this guidebook has been reviewed and approved by the Constitutional Officers Association of Georgia (COAG), the Magistrate Council of Georgia, and ACCG. The highlights of the changes and issues in which counties may be most interested are shown in bold text in the Guiding Principles section near the beginning of the document. Please contact your county attorney if you have any questions.

Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) Renegotiation Guidebook

The Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) law requires counties and “qualified cities” receiving general purpose LOST revenue to renegotiate distribution agreements within two years of each decennial census and submit the new distribution certificate to be received by the Department of Revenue (DOR). To assist county officials with the process for renegotiating the LOST distribution certificates, ACCG has worked with a task force of county managers and finance officers to prepare a guidebook. One objective of this guide is to outline a framework or process by which county officials can approach the renegotiation with a realistic aspiration to find common ground with its cities to reach an agreement. Click here to review the Guidebook.
State News
HB 317 Webinar Presentation Now Available

The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) recently hosted a webinar on HB 317, Hotel-Motel Excise Tax. Recordings and slide presentations are now accessible through the DCA website at https://www.dca.ga.gov/local-government-assistance/research-surveys/hotel-motel-excise-tax . The webinar provided information about the flow of funds, accounting norms, restricted spending requirements, and other important questions as this change went into effect on July 1.

Short-Term Rental Hotel/Motel Tax Collection Law Goes Into Effect

Online lodging platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo are now required to collect and pay to counties and cities all hotel/motel taxes due on short-term rentals (STRs) that are hosted via those platforms. ACCG is working to obtain points of contact with the online lodging platforms and encourages counties with a hotel/motel tax to identify an in-house point of contact for questions relating to this new collection and payment requirement. More details regarding HB317 can be found here.
Federal News
NACo's Annual Conference Coverage

Browse NACo's County Coverage for an overview of NACo's annual conference, including session recaps, highlights of new NACo resources and more.
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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.