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New car tax system still a concern for counties

Special to SEGAZINE

One year after the abolition of the “birthday tax” — the annual ad valorem tax on cars — the switch to a one-time sales tax on vehicles has proved a bit of a windfall for some midstate counties and a bust for others. Houston County, its cities and the school system are the biggest losers, altogether out just more than $1 million after the first eight months of the change compared to their projected take under the old system, according to the Association County Commissioners of Georgia. The group most recently ran the numbers at the end of November. Houston’s general fund revenue will be about $52 million in the year that ends this July, and County Commissioner Tom McMichael said the tax loss is driving some budget austerity.“We knew this was going to happen,” he said. “You have to make it up from other sources.”

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