Legislative Update – 01/27/2017

HB 4 Taxes on Conservation Property
This legislation requires owners of conservation use property to keep current with local property taxes in order to avoid breaching the covenant.

HB 6 Georgia Rail Passenger Authority
This legislation changes the scope of the authority to also include “high speed rail systems and facilities”.

HB 60 Distiller Sales Directly to Public
SB 85 Brewery Sales Directly to Public
These bills make provisions to allow Distilleries and Breweries sell final packaged product directly to the public without going through a wholesaler within annual quantity limits. The souvenir beer with brewery tour provisions would also be removed.

HB 73 Rural Downtown Tax Credit
This legislation creates Revitalization Zones to be designated by the Commissioner of DCA and Economic Development. Within the zones, businesses and developers can receive tax credits for qualified projects. Local governments that have fewer than 15,000 residents and economic distress would be eligible to apply. Economic distress may be demonstrated by a concentration of historic structures, a feasibility study and a master plan. This combines job tax credits and rehabilitation tax credits.

HB 76 Electronic Plat Recording
This legislation modifies the new electronic filing requirements for plats. Exempts retracement surveys from local review if surveyor adds specific notes on plats prior to recording. Specific language used puts the responsibility back on the property purchaser or user to confirm local government approval.

SB 2 Business Permitting & Licensing
This legislation seeks to improve the efficiency and transparency of local and state government permitting, licensing, and reviews. The bill establishes local government fee penalties for failing to meet deadlines from published fee schedule. Local governments are required to create expedited permitting and licenses processes. The Department of Community Affairs is mandated to create a scoring system for local government for the licenses and permitting processes. The bill also advocates the creation of provisional professional licenses from the state licensing boards.

SB 6 Georgia Regional Transit Council
This legislation establishes a Georgia Regional Transit Council for the purpose of developing a statewide, strategic transit plan. This Council will help develop a strategy for multi-jurisdictional entities, which will emphasize first-mile and last-mile services, dependable trip times for commuters, enhance limited access highways, relieve road congestion, make safety enhancements, and plan for a future of transportation innovations. Source – Council for Quality Growth

Here is the current list of bills we are tracking so far thanks to our partners at ACCG, GMA and CQG. Please email Margaret Stallings at mstallings@cherokeega.com if you have any other state legislation of interest to planners.