Governor Nathan Deal has signed several bills passed during the 2011 legislative session that represent priorities identified in the County Platform. Among the bills that were signed include:
SB 157 Solid Waste Management Reporting and Plan Updates - Make Optional - (Effective July 1, 2011) - This bill makes local Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) updates optional for counties and cities and removes the requirement of having to complete an annual, duplicative solid waste report. Counties without zoning and land use ordinances may, however, wish to complete these plans and adopt them by local ordinance as the plans will maintain their ability to effectively govern the sitting of solid waste facilities within the community. Amendments to the bill now require public notice any time a local SWMP is updated and require both public and private landfills to annually report to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) the amount of waste disposed, the landfill's remaining capacity, recycling and composting activities, and any other information as may be required by DCA. To learn more about this legislation, click here.
HB 256 Collection and Disbursement of 9-1-1 Fees Prepaid Wireless Service – (Effective January 1, 2012) - This bill changes the method that 9-1-1 fees are assessed on prepaid wireless cellular phones and service, and sets forth a method for distribution of the fees to local governments. The bill provides for a 75 cent fee on each retail purchase of a wireless telephone or purchase of service. The fee will be remitted by the retailer along with sales tax to the Department of Revenue. Fees will be distributed to 9-1-1 centers based on the population of the Public Safety Answering Point. To learn more about this legislation, click here.
HB 240 Method of Removing Infeasible SPLOST Projects - (Effective upon signature of the Governor) – This bill allows county commissions or city councils to determine if one of their previously approved special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) projects has become infeasible because it is impracticable, unserviceable, unrealistic or no longer in the best interest of the citizens. If a resolution is passed by the governing authority determining infeasibility, the project could be abandoned if approved by the voters in a referendum. The money set aside for those projects could then be used to reduce general obligation debt and/or ad valorem taxes.