Another session has come and gone under the Gold Dome and, while the bulk of the media coverage went to measures dealing with medical marijuana and campus carry, there were several bills of interest to the City of Tucker.
- HB 596 – PASSED
Lawmakers approved restoration of the hotel/motel tax to eight percent in Tucker, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Decatur and Dunwoody. If signed by Governor Deal, one estimate has the bill generating an additional $171,000 in revenue annually for the City of Tucker. That revenue would be earmarked for projects including renewal of the Tucker Recreation Center and installation of bathrooms at Tucker’s parks.
- HB 204 – FAILED
Lawmakers rejected an effort to limit what local governments can print on property tax bills. The move would have forced cities like Tucker to send out a second bill for any non-ad valorem fees like sanitation and street lights. The additional mailing would have come at considerable cost to localities.
- SB2 – FAILED
Lawmakers also said no to this bill, which would have required all permits to be turned around by local governments in a time period set by a state committee. This potentially could have put a strain on small cities, which don’t have the staffing to thoroughly review permits in an arbitrarily short time period.
- SB156 – PASSED
Lawmakers approved counties which offer a Homestead Exemption to place on the ballot a referendum item that would create a penny EHOST (Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax) and a penny SPLOST (Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax). This measure would only impact residents of DeKalb and Rockdale Counties. One hundred percent of the EHOST revenue would go toward ameliorating property taxes in the county, while the entirety of the SPLOST funds would be allocated to public works projects. If signed by Governor Deal, approved by the County Commission and then approved by DeKalb voters, this would elevate the sales tax in DeKalb County to eight percent. As for the EHOST, funds would be redirected from the DeKalb treasury directly to the City of Tucker. According to an estimate from DeKalb County, this would translate to a $272 per parcel reduction in property taxes in the City of Tucker.