January 31, 2020
Volume 11, Issue 3
Governor Signs ACCG's Top Legislative Priority
Marketplace Facilitator Signed Into Law - Thank Your Legislators
On January 30th, Governor Kemp signed HB 276 , the sales tax “marketplace facilitator” bill, into law. Effective April 1st, this legislation will help ensure sales taxes are collected on all purchases made online via platforms such as Amazon and Ebay.

HB 276 is projected to produce approximately $80 million per year in additional local sales taxes that are currently owed but not being collected. Please thank your legislators for their quick action to help ensure better collection for counties' second largest revenue source.
ACCG Seeks State Budget Feedback from County Finance Directors

ACCG has sent the full state budget summary to all county finance directors and asked that they review it for potential impacts on local budgets. County commissioners are asked to reach out to their finance directors for their input on how the proposed state budget cuts may impact your local budget.

Click here to review the summary. If impacts to your county budget are identified, please be sure to reach out to your local delegation to make them aware and please notify ACCG of those impacts.

If you have questions or have identified impacts, please contact Debra Nesbit at dnesbit@accg.org , or (404)617-4755.
ACCG Seeks Your Feedback on Including Security Issues During Executive Session  

House Bill 784 passed out of committee this week. This legislation allows local boards of education to discuss school safety plans in executive session rather than require such discussions to take place in an open meeting. ACCG may seek to amend this bill, or have new legislation introduced, to authorize counties to discuss security issues in executive session. 

Please e-mail Todd Edwards ( tedwards@accg.org ) examples of security issues that you would like to have moved to executive session (e.g. cyber security, building security, etc.) and your justification for doing so. 
Click on "This Week's Bills" to review the bills included in this week's Legislative Update.
Access the Legislative Tracking Database for a compilation of all bills ACCG is following. 
More from the Gold Dome
Title Ad Valorem Tax Changes

Beginning last July, prior legislation supported by ACCG shifted a significant amount of title ad valorem tax (TAVT) proceeds on motor vehicles from the state to local governments. Since that time, counties and school systems have seen significant increases in TAVT revenues, while most cities have seen substantial declines. In an effort to correct a portion of that imbalance, HB 779 would shift a limited portion of future TAVT proceeds for vehicles registered to addresses within city limits from counties to cities, and would also shift a substantial portion of TAVT proceeds from city school systems to the city governments.

In addition, via last year’s SB 65 , the TAVT rate went from 7% to 6.6% effective January 1, 2020, and increased the taxable value of certain used car sales. Because the county-by-county impact of the January 2020 changes are not yet known, ACCG recommends that counties closely monitor their future TAVT receipts to get a better idea of positive or negative budgetary impacts of these many changes.

Please contact Larry Ramsey at lramsey@accg.org with any questions.
Bill Proposes State Process to Abolish County Police Departments

Senate Bill 317 , sponsored by Sen. William Ligon, seeks to change the established process for the county’s authority to continue or eliminate services as defined by the State Constitution.  Essentially, this general bill will allow a local legislative delegation to introduce local legislation to provide for a local referendum to eliminate a county police department. Under the existing process, the county commission has the sole discretion over county police departments. Currently, if a county wishes to create a county police department, they can do so by adopting a resolution calling for a local referendum. The county can abolish a county police department by passing a resolution to abolish (there is no referendum required). 

If passed, this bill gives the discretion to abolish the county police department to local legislative delegations instead of county commissioners, thereby interfering with “Home Rule”. This bill was introduced on Wednesday and passed out of the Senate Government Oversight Committee on Thursday. It is now in the Senate Rules Committee. 

Click here for talking and legal points. Please contact Debra Nesbit ( dnesbit@accg.org )with any questions or concerns.
Legislation Introduced to Allow Locals to Bond for Broadband Projects   

House Bill 834 was introduced this week as a recommendation by the House Rural Development Council. It simply amends state revenue bond law to authorize local governments to issue revenue bonds for wired or wireless (broadband) services that will transmit data at a rate not less than 200 kilobits per second to and from end users and provide internet access. As the state's rural broadband initiative grant program has yet to be funded, this allows another tool for local governments to consider when seeking broadband expansion.
Stay Connected and Engaged!
Policy Communication Tools

Don't forget about the various communications tools that will help keep you informed and engaged. Click here to read all about them!
Watch Today's Livestream

Did you miss today's Facebook Live Legislative Update? Don't worry - we've got you covered! Just click on the recap image to start watching!
2020 Capitol Connection Conference
Registration is now available for the 2020 Capitol Connection Conference that will take place February 27-28 at the Hilton Atlanta in Fulton County. If you have yet to do so, contact your county clerk to register today to secure accommodations in the ACCG room block at the Hilton by  Monday, February 3 .

Click here for more information including a conference agenda and the information sheet.
News You Can Use - Articles Related to ACCG Policy Issues
The following are pertinent articles regarding some of the major policy issues that ACCG is covering. The full article can be accessed by clicking on the title.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - January 30,2020

Atlanta Journal-Constitution– January 30, 2020

The Brunswick News– January 30, 2020

Atlanta Journal-Constitution– January 28, 2020

Latest Trends-A Georgia Trend Blog– January 27, 2020
Questions? Email the
ACCG Legislative team:

ACCG is YOUR county association. We are here to advance all Georgia county governments. Please feel free to let us know when you're visiting the State Capitol this session and a member of the policy team will gladly assist you as needed. Don't forget to use your  2020 Legislative Toolkit and your Legislative Updates when conversing with your state legislators!