The 2018 Legislative Session was full of accomplishments for the people of Georgia. I would like to share some of what I have worked on during the session – sponsoring several bills that affect both my district and the entire state.
In terms of statewide bills, three bills I sponsored are the direct result of recommendations made by the Senate Study Committee on Special Tax Exemption. Senate Bill 378, the Georgia Measuring Success Act, and Senate Bill 328 both relate to tax exemptions. Under the Georgia Measuring Success Act, any legislation that modifies existing tax incentives or proposes new ones must undergo a thorough financial analysis by both the bill’s author and the state auditor. Through a rigorous and responsible business case or “sunrise process,” SB378 will enhance fiscal notes to better measure effectiveness and return on investment (ROI).
SB328 provides an expiration date on three tax credits currently in effect: Qualified Transportation Credit, Driver Education Tax Credit, and Diesel Particulate Emission Reduction Technology Equipment Credit. After careful analysis over the interim, the committee determined that these three credits no longer provide a ROI and should sunset on December 31, 2018. The third bill I sponsored is the Georgia Tax Credit Business Case Act (SB432), which relates a rolling sunset and evaluation process every five years.
I also sponsored a series of local bills to address an issue that many of my constituents have contacted me about: volatile property tax assessments. Senate Bills 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, and 317 address these concerns in the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Roswell, and the Fulton County School District, respectively. These bills allow citizens in the cities in north Fulton the opportunity to vote later this fall on whether to cap property tax assessment increases at 3%. Representing small government at its finest, these bills return the decision-making power back to the citizens.
Along with handling tax issues, I sponsored legislation that will help state fire services operate more efficiently while receiving necessary resources and training. SB319, the Consolidation of Fire Safety Services in Georgia Act, and SB327, the Death Investigation Act, will each bring more efficiency to Georgia’s public servants. SB319 consolidates all services related to fire safety under one mandate to streamline their functions into one department with a single focus. SB327 gives more oversight to medical examiners during the investigatory process and will free up resources needed to investigate serious crimes. As chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, protecting and serving our state’s public servants is one of my top priorities, and these bills will do just that. Another bill for our brave public servants is House Bill 38. This bill will provide a “veteran” designation on the license of service members receiving an honorable discharge. It will also make obtaining a driver’s license easier for veterans.
These are just a few of the issues addressed this session. Please reach out with any questions, concerns, or comments. I look forward to working with you all during the interim to address the needs of our community.