Georgia’s new Transportation Funding law will be getting more $green$ from those who have been driving green and from anywhere else they can. This law went into effect July 1, 2015 and is expected to increase funding to the GA Department of Transportation by $900M annually.
These funds are earmarked to repairing roads and bridges throughout the state and to prioritize new projects for congestion relief.
Here are the changes to the tax system that will be producing the extra $900,000,000.
· There is now a state excise tax of 26 cents per gallon on gasoline. There is a 29 cent per gallon excise tax on diesel. This does away with state sales taxes on gasoline, but leaves intact local taxes – Local Option Sales Taxes, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes, and education SPLOSTs.
· Hotel Motel Tax – A new $5 per night fee is now in place for stays 30 days or less.
· Truck fees - Heavy vehicles of 15,500 pounds or more that are registered in Georgia are subject to annual fees. The fee is $50 for vehicles between 15,500 and 26,000 pounds, and $100 for vehicles over 26,000 pounds.
· Aviation fuel – The new law does away with a sales tax exemption of 1 percent. Also to comply with federal law, the law requires the revenue earned from aviation fuel be spent on aviation related projects.
· Zero and Low Emissions Vehicles – The very generous tax credits that have pushed Atlanta to the top of electric car ownership in the United States has now gone away.
· Alternative Fuel Vehicles – Since these vehicles do not pay any excise tax from fuel purchases, there will now be a $200 annual fee for regular alternative fuel vehicles and $300 annual fee for commercial alternative fuel vehicles.
While an extra billion dollars may not be that much to the state which has a $41 Billion annual budget, it is another example of how some very large items get passed and implemented with very little hoopla. We are not attempting to take a political stance one way or another on this issue. We just want to make sure that our Atlanta and Georgia residents are aware of the new laws and do not make a several thousand dollar mistake.
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