Legislative Update
Volume 9 , Issue 2        
January 19, 2018
2019 State Budget and 2018 Supplemental Budget Overview
ACCG has provided a comprehensive overview of the Amended FY 2018 and FY 2019 state budgets recommended by Gov. Deal. The overview includes a detailed breakdown of the various state agency budget items with implications to counties.

Some items of interest to counties include an increase in funds for the following:
  • County reimbursement of habeas corpus costs pursuant to HB 319 for both fiscal years;
  • Twenty-four assistant district attorney positions to support juvenile courts across the state for FY 2019;
  • Forestland Protection Act Grant reimbursements ($17.6 million), for a total of $31.6 million of AFY 2018; reimbursements remain at $14 million during FY 2019;
  • One-time funds to expand 11 runway lengths sufficient to safely handle larger aircraft to spur economic development and business investment in rural areas ($25.2 million) for AFY 2018 (funding for rural airports).

Click here to access the budget overview in its entirety.

County officials are encouraged to review these budget items. Feel free to notify ACCG with any questions or concerns you may have.
U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Challenge That Could Impact Sales and Use Tax Collections from Out-of-State Vendors
Sales tax reform is one of ACCG’s legislative priorities for 2018. Georgia state and local governments have seen sales tax revenues remain flat in recent years despite the improved economy, in large part due to the ever increasing share of purchases made online from out-of-state retailers. ACCG supports HB 61, which seeks to take steps to remedy this problem. However, a large impediment to requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes is a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Quill Corp. v. North Dakota) ruling that a vendor must have a physical presence in a state before that state can require the vendor to collect sales and use taxes. On Monday of this week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge by South Dakota to the “physical presence” requirement. If Quill is overruled, that would open the way for measures such as HB 61 that seek to improve collection of sales and use taxes on purchases from out-of-state vendors.
County Notification for Local Legislation
To ensure that the ACCG membership is aware of local legislation that has been introduced during the 2018 legislative session, ACCG not only posts such legislation to the Legislative Tracking Database, but the Association will also notify counties. When local legislation has been introduced that may affect a specific county, ACCG will notify the county attorney, the county clerk, and the county legislative coordinator (if one has been appointed). This notification will be emailed by ACCG interns Jarrett Faber, jfaber@accg.org, and Ekeoma Nwakanma,  enwakanma@accg.org, to these county contacts and will include the bill number and link to the legislation.

In that the ACCG policy staff does not handle local legislation, this system will allow counties to review these bills and follow up with their legislators as needed. 

Please make sure that ACCG has the correct contact information for the county attorney, clerk, and county legislative coordinator so that your county will receive notifications when needed. 
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. 
Greater Percentage of TAVT Revenues will Shift from the State to Local Governments in 2018
On Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) announced the state and local percentage shares of motor vehicle taxes - remaining ad valorem taxes on older vehicles plus Title Ad Valorem Taxes (TAVT) - that will apply beginning in February 2018. Under the TAVT law, local governments as a whole are guaranteed a certain total amount of motor vehicle tax dollars. In order to maintain that amount, DOR annually sets the percentage shares in a manner designed to maintain the guaranteed amount based on the prior year’s total collections. Last year’s local share was 45.6 percent of total collections. Likely as a result of declining vehicle sales in 2017, the 2018 local share will be 51.58 percent. This may or may not result in more total revenue to your county. DOR’s Bulletin can be viewed here.
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.

GOVERNING - January 12, 2018

Times-Picayune - January 16, 2018

WABE (Atlanta NPR) - January 17, 2018

Daily Report - January 17, 2018

GOVERNING - January 19, 2018
Don't Forget to Register for County Days at the Capitol 
The 2018 County Days at the Capitol are quickly approaching! Join ACCG, state leaders, and your fellow county officials on February 28 or March 7 for this immersive learning experience.

County Days at the Capitol are dedicated to connecting Georgia's county officials with state legislators and other key decision makers. County leaders can experience the daily processes that the ACCG policy staff, state legislators, and state agency heads endure during the 40 days in which the General Assembly is in session under the Gold Dome. County officials and staff are encouraged to attend this annual event to strengthen ties with their state legislators, receive updates on important issues, and hear firsthand from state agency leaders and the ACCG policy team about their plan of action to address countywide concerns.

Don't miss this dynamic opportunity that connect Georgia's county leaders with their state counterparts. Attend a meeting to do your part to help advance Georgia's counties!

To learn the latest about what's happening at the Capitol, register for one of the upcoming ACCG County Days:

February 28
March 7
ACCG is YOUR county association 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 2018 Legislative Toolkit when conversing with your state legislators!