New Laws Effective Jan. 1, 2018
Six bills impacting county government became effective Jan. 1, 2018. A summary for each bill is provided. Click the title of the bill for a staff analysis provided by members of the ACCG policy team.
(Rep. James "Bubber" Epps, 144th)
Sections 1, 2, and 4 - 9 effective May 1, 2017. Section 3 effective January 1, 2018. This legislation adds flexibility, clarifications and enhancements to the existing Single County T-SPLOST law. This bill allows Single County T-SPLOST to fund state transportation projects and removes dates that are no longer relevant so now all counties, with the exception of Fulton County with its own code section, would follow the same Single County T-SPLOST law. It also permits more than one Single County T-SPLOST to be levied at the same time as long as the combined amount does not exceed 1 percent and allows cities to bond their T-SPLOST projects. Lastly, the bill clarifies that after January 1, 2018, Regional T-SPLOST and a Single County T-SPLOST cannot be on the ballot at the same time. A more detailed description of HB 134 can be found here.
(Rep. Micah Gravely, 67th)
Effective January 1, 2018. This legislation requires fire departments to purchase insurance coverage on each firefighter to pay claims for cancer diagnosed after serving at least 12 consecutive months as a firefighter in the department if the cancer or treatment makes them unable to perform their firefighter duties.
(Rep. Sharon Cooper, 43rd)
Effective January 1, 2018. This legislation allows dental hygienists to practice and provide screening services in county-owned hospitals, volunteer community settings, senior centers and county public health facilities under general supervision which does not require the actual presence of the supervising dentist. This legislation assists in providing dental care on a wider basis at a lower cost to counties.
(Rep. Howard Maxwell, 17th)
Effective January 1, 2018. This legislation provides that the state, counties, cities, and other governments may offer a qualified Roth contribution program in their deferred compensation retirement plans. As to counties, this appears to be simply a clarification of existing authority.
(Rep. Shaw Blackmon, 146th)
Effective January 1, 2018. This legislation changes the manner in which title ad valorem tax (TAVT) on leased motor vehicles is calculated. Previously, TAVT was based upon the full value of the vehicle. Under this legislation, TAVT on leased vehicles will be calculated on the total of all lease payments. Prior versions of this legislation would have made other changes to the TAVT program, including the allocation of TAVT proceeds between the state and local governments.
(Sen. Dean Burke, 11th)
Effective January 1, 2017, provided, however (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 31-8-1 shall be effective January 1, 2018. This legislation increases the maximum tax credits for donations to qualifying rural hospitals. Single head of household increases to 90 percent of amount expended or $5,000, whichever is greater; married couples increases to 90 percent of amount expended or $10,000, whichever is greater; corporation limits are 90 percent of amount expended or no more than 75 percent of tax debt. The amount available for the tax credits increases from $50 million to $60 million for FY 17, FY 18 and FY 19. The amount a qualifying hospital can receive per year is capped at $4 million for total donations.