Yeah, I Don’t Know About This

This sounds good at first, but then you start thinking about it.

A proposed bill that would exempt utility companies in Georgia from paying sales and use taxes could mean a property tax increase for Murray County residents, officials said here Thursday.

House Bill 209, which is expected to be discussed in the 2007 legislative session, would allow companies that produce natural or artificial gas, electricity or “any other energy used directly in the production of manufactured goods

4 comments

  1. atlantaman says:

    There is obviously a fine line and it’s real easy to demagogue the tax-breaks issue, but you have to make sure the state stays competitive in attracting industry – I’ve heard other states offer this tax break.

    I’m sure the citizens Hapeville would be happy to have the Ford plant back – even without the utility sales tax.

  2. IndyInjun says:

    I work in sales and use tax in multiple states. The largest user of electricity in Georgia is a newsprint mill that every likely pays $2 to $3 million in sales tax per year. A plant run by one client pays more than $1 million per year in taxes on electricity. The latter is in a county with almost no commercial or other industrial tax base.

    This means a giant tax increase to be born by homeowners.

    It is not the first tax break to transfer the tax burden to homeowners.

    The conservation use property tax exemption started out fairly small, grew soon to cover up to 2000 acres, and since has been abused by land barons who split ownership amoung parents and siblings to exempt 10’s of thousands of acres. In my county this means about $250 per year per household born by homeowners that would otherwise be paid by the large landowners.

    Another is the exemption of standing timber that was passed about 12 or 14 years back. Now the state and counties collect less than $20 million in tax STATEWIDE on a several billion dollar industry. There are almost NO AUDIT CONTROLS, so the whole deal is an “honor” system. What’s worse, the morons in the Georgia legislature failed to write the bill so that the tax would be collected on timber after it is severed from federal lands, unlike other states with similar taxes.

    Just this week there were 4 or 5 amendments providing new exemptions which further transfers the burden to the greater number of households while exempting the few.

    The result of this tax policy is that homeowners are crushed by property taxes to make up for taxes on exempted property for the few.

    It matters not which party controls. The trend is unchanging. Industry and the connected write the bills. The average citizen catches the hammer blows of the cost.

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