Bills That Survived Crossover Day 2017

The three most important dates during the 2017 legislative session in Georgia are Jan. 9, the first day of session; March 3, Crossover Day; and March 30, sine die or the last day of session. Now that we are past Crossover day, which is the deadline for all bills to "cross" from one chamber to the other, we have a much better idea of which bills still have the chance to make it to the governor’s desk and which ones don’t. Keeping in mind that if a bill doesn’t cross over by March 3, it will die for the remainder of the 2017 session.

There are quite a few bills and resolutions in both the House and Senate that will be debated furiously in the coming days, with legislators, lobbyists, and interested members of the public vying for an opportunity to have their opinions heard.

Some of the bills that are still alive for this 2017 legislative session include:

HB 59Revenue and taxation; tax credits for rehabilitation of historic structures; revise procedures, conditions, and limitations
March 6, 2017 – Senate Finance

HB 59 revises some of the language that relates to tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic structures. It increases the cap on the overall amount of credits that a single property may earn – this amount is increased to $500,000 from $300,000. Additionally, some of the language around who may receive the credits was changed to ensure it was targeted appropriately.

HB 61Sales and use tax; certain retailers to either collect and remit or notify purchaser and state; require
Feb. 23, 2017 – Senate Finance

HB 61 relates to the imposition of sales tax, rates, and collection, so as to require certain retailers to either collect and remit sales and use taxes or provide certain notifications to each purchaser and the state. It is aimed at the larger companies doing business in Georgia and states these retailers being targeted would be ones that obtain a gross revenue of $250k or more in the state or conduct over 200 or more separate retail transactions.

HB 73Income tax credit; incentives to promote the revitalization of rural Georgia downtowns; provide
Feb. 23, 2017 - Senate Finance

HB 73 will provide tax credit incentives to promote the revitalization of vacant rural Georgia downtowns by encouraging investment, job creation, and economic growth in long-established business districts. This bill adds financial encouragement in the form of tax credits to drive business and rehabilitation of historic structures to these downtown areas. Income tax credits up to $2,000 for each new full-time equivalent job created in these areas, up to 25% (max of $125,000) of the purchase price of property for commercial use, and up to 50% (max of $75,000) to certified investors with qualified rehabsilitation expenses. This bill has been received favorably thus far.

HB 155Georgia Musical Investment Act; enact
March 3, 2017 - Senate Finance Committee

HB 155 will create an income tax credit for certain expenditures by a production company related to certain state certified musical or theatrical productions or recorded musical performances. This bill also provides for rules and regulations and an application process related to such an income tax credit. For certain state-certified productions, an income tax credit of 15% shall be allowed. An added 10% credit shall be allowed for qualified expenditure incurred in a tier 1 or tier 2 county. This program will be capped in its first year (2018 calendar year) at $5M and that cap will ramp up in the subsequent years. This bill has received very favorable comments and votes in both the House and Senate.

HB 217Income tax credit; certain scholarship organizations; increase amount of the aggregate cap on contributions
March 1, 2017 – Senate Finance Committee

HB 217 will increase the amount of the aggregate cap on contributions to certain scholarship organizations in order for individuals and corporations to receive income tax credits. This bill will increase the cap for contributions to the SSO program by 10% each year until a maximum cap of $100M has been reached. In Senate Finance, there was discussion and a vote on changing the cap allowed from corporations to 30% from the 25% that was in the version that passed the House. There has been very favorable comments and votes on this bill from both House and Senate with a lot of citizens and groups weighing in with suggestions and recommendations.

HB 238Ad valorem tax; use of property for solar power generation; provide exception to a breach of covenants
Feb. 23, 2017 – Senate Finance

HB 238 provides an exception to a breach of the covenants for use of the property for solar power generation; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. This bill had an initial hearing in committee and allowed for testimony from the public. It was clear that the Senate is very concerned with protecting conservation easements and a couple committee members stated they were not sure they wanted to continue to dilute them with additional exemptions. All on the committee were favorable on being supportive of solar power, but they just weren’t sure this was the best way to go about encouraging it.

HB 283Revenue and taxation; Internal Revenue Code and Internal Revenue Code of 1986; revise definitions
March 9, 2017 – Senate Passed/Adopted (awaits Governor’s signature)

HB 283 is this year’s conformity bill, and revises the definition of the terms "Internal Revenue Code" and "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" and thereby incorporates certain provisions of federal law into Georgia law. This year’s conformity bill contains a couple provisions allowing for a tax exemption for the value of an Olympic medal, and allowing for an exemption relating to certain language around HSA’s. The total fiscal impact of these two small changes was less than $1M. This bill has the smallest impact of any Georgia conformity bill in recent history.

HB 329Income tax; rate of tax imposed on the taxable net income of individuals; modify
March 3, 2017 – Senate Read and Referred

HB 329 relates to imposition, rate, and computation of and exemptions from income taxes, so as to modify the rate of tax imposed on the Georgia taxable net income of individuals. In summary, this bill removes the tax tables for computing individual income tax and inserts a flat rate of 5.4%. It additionally provides for a nonrefundable earned income tax credit. This bill has not yet been heard in the Senate Finance Committee.

For information on legislation and representation, please contact
Don Cook, VP, legislative affairs at 404-504-2935.