Sunday, February 7, 2010

ACCG: Major Legislation for Property Tax Reform and Water Conservation Introduced

ACCG Helps to Shape Property Tax Reform

Senator Chip Rogers introduced major property tax reform legislation this week through SB 346. This bill incorporated many recommendations heard by the Senate Property Tax Assessment and Appeals Study Committee. Since this bill’s introduction on Monday, ACCG has been working closely with Senator Rogers to make improvements to address issues of concern. A substitute bill should be ready by early next week. More details will be provided at the Legislative Conference on Feb. 9. For an ACCG analysis of the current bill, click here.

For years ACCG has urged the legislature to provide comprehensive tax reform. ACCG now has an opportunity to have meaningful input into reforming the property tax code. The introduction of this legislation provides an opportunity to address other problems with property tax administration - even if they are not outlined in this legislation. If you have any suggestions on how to improve the property tax laws of Georgia, please contact Clint Mueller at

Click here to read another analysis of SB 346 provided by Dr. David Sjoquist at the Fiscal Research Center at Georgia State University.

Water Stewardship Act of 2010

On Wednesday, Governor Perdue outlined the major components of the Water Stewardship Act of 2010, which included many of the recommendations of the Water Contingency Task Force. Addressing Georgia’s water challenges on a statewide level are critical for meeting the needs of our growing population and for supporting continued economic development.

The details of this proposal were outlined more clearly with the introduction of SB 370 and HB 1094 on Thursday. These bills encompass a multi-faceted approach to water conservation and future water capacity. State agencies must develop new incentives to encourage voluntary water conservation measures. The bills outline a timeline for public water systems to conduct standardized water audits and sub-metering for new construction, including requirements for low flow fixtures. In addition, a Joint Committee on Water Supply will be named by the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the state’s strategic needs for additional water supply, including the identification of creative financing options.

For more information on this legislation, see the ACCG analysis of SB 370 and HB 1094 that follows in the Legislative Update under “What’s New.”

Transportation Update

Democrats this week introduced their own version of transportation funding legislation in advance of the Governor's highly anticipated bill expected next week. The legislation allows voters to approve a one-percent regional sales tax and dedicates half of all proceeds to public transit. For more details, be sure to read the "What's New" section.

Also this week, the Senate Transportation Committee held a hearing on the controversial accounting changes made last month by the GDOT board. Senators made clear their displeasure with the action of the board and stated that the General Assembly is the proper forum to clarify any confusion in the law over accounting procedures. A special called GDOT board meeting is scheduled for this afternoon.
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