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January 31, 2013

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS Regular Meetings February 5th at 9:00 a.m. February 19th at 6:30 p.m.

Meetings held at: Administration Building Community Room 140 Henry Parkway McDonough, GA 30253

Commission meetings will air daily on Henry TV Channel 14, at 9 a.m., 2 p.m., & 7 p.m.

Motor Vehicle “Birthday Tax” to Change to State and Local Title Tax Tax reform legislation enacted by the Georgia General Assembly in 2012 created a new system for taxing motor vehicles registered in Georgia. As a result, the annual vehicle ad valorem tax, often called the “birthday tax,” will change to a state and local title ad valorem tax on March 1, 2013. The change is part of HB386, which is designed to make Georgia more business friendly. Beginning March 1, 2013, state and local sales tax will no longer apply to the purchase of a motor vehicle purchased in Henry County. All vehicles purchased or transferred into ownership after this date will also no longer be subject to the annual ad valorem tax. Instead, these vehicles will be subject to a new, one-time state and local title ad valorem tax (TAVT) that is paid at the time owner registers the vehicle and applies for the title with the county. “Every year, we renew our tags on our birthday. House bill 386 does away with that,” said David Curry, Henry County

Tax Commissioner. “There are three parts of this bill for ad valorem taxes. Imagine three doors. The door on the left talks about if you own a vehicle prior to December 31, 2011, you will continue to get an ad valorem tax bill in the future. The door on the right is for March 1, 2013 moving forward. You will fall under the new system, and won’t have an option. You will come in and pay your 6 ½ percent title fee and get your tag. After that, you pay only $20 for your tag renewal. The door in the middle is for the 14 months in the middle that people will have an option if they want to opt in to the new law or remain under the old law.” The new system for taxing vehicles only applies when the ownership of the vehicle is transferred through a title exchange. All vehicles purchased on or after March 1, 2013 are subject to this new system, regardless of where the vehicle is purchased. Vehicles purchased through a private sale that were previously exempt from sales tax, such as vehicles that are Continued on Page 3 the henry county update

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Heritage Senior Center Partners with Atlanta Humane Society To Assist in Spaying and Neutering Pets

Henry County continues to take great strides toward addressing the problem of pet over-population in its community, and once again, Henry County Senior Services will partner with the Atlanta Humane Society to offer a free, two-day mobile spay/neuter clinic for cats and dogs owned by Henry County’s senior population. The two day event will be held at the Heritage Senior Center on Wednesday, February 20 and Thursday, February 21, 2013. The clinic is only for pets of Henry County senior citizens. According to Tracy Lopez, Manager of Surgical Utility Vehicle (SUV) Operations for the Atlanta Humane Society, the state of Georgia has one of the highest rates of pet over-population in the country, therefore the SUV is an invaluable tool that makes spaying and neutering accessible to more pet owners. The clinic will operate out of the SUV, which is approximately 45 square feet and consists of a fullyequipped stainless steel surgical suite and a holding area

that accommodates up to 49 animals. The SUV program is an extension of the Atlanta Humane Society’s outreach initiative, designed to provide these much-needed services outside the Metro Atlanta area. Thanks to a generous grant from the Holland M. Ware Foundation, the SUV program is able to perform surgeries at no cost to senior citizens in Henry County. Pets who receive services through the program are also eligible for a free rabies vaccination and microchip as needed. In order to take part in the clinic, appointments are necessary. To schedule an appointment for the free clinic, seniors should contact Ann Marie Quincy at the Heritage Senior Center at (770) 288-7000. The Heritage Senior Center is located at 1050 Florence McGarity Blvd in McDonough.


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TITLE TAX From Page 1 sold between individuals and not through a dealer, will now be subject to the title ad valorem tax. All other vehicle owners will continue to operate under the current system and pay the annual ad valorem taxes until they no longer hold title to the vehicle. “Currently, if you purchase something from an individual, it’s $18 for a title and $20 for a tag, so for $38, you walk out the door, you’ve got your title and tag, and you are good to go,” said Curry. “The new law captures the casual sales so that when you come in now, let’s say you purchased a car for $5,000. We charge a 6 ½ percent title fee, which is $325 plus $20 for the tag. So there is a huge difference in buying casual sales after March 1st, 2013 compared to today though, after the shock of the $325 up front, you won’t receive that ad valorem tax bill in the future. So it’s a little harder on you up front, but it’s less of an impact on your pocketbook according to how long you keep your car.” “This is a major change in the way taxes are paid on motor vehicles. People need to fully understand that the cost to title a vehicle is going to be higher than what they may have previously experienced,” said ACCG Legislative Director Clint Mueller. “The tradeoff is that they will not have to pay a sales tax if they have traditionally purchased a vehicle through a dealership and they will not have the annual ad valorem tax to pay every year.” “There is a bit of a misconception out there that people think they have to pay 7 percent sales tax in addition to the 6 ½ percent title fee,” said Curry. “The 6 ½ percent title fee does away with the 7 percent sales tax. It’s a great savings to the citizens of Henry County and to all Georgia residents because in the future, you will not have to pay ad valorem taxes. You pay the 6 ½ percent up front and simply pay $20 a year afterwards.” For Henry County residents, your title ad valorem tax is collected by the county tax commissioner before a new title is issued and the vehicle is registered. But don’t rush down to the tag office today to make any changes.

“We are not set up today to take that information or the money,” explained Curry. “You’ll have to come in after March 1, 2013 to opt into the new system.” The new title ad valorem tax is calculated at a rate of 6.5 percent of the vehicle’s value, not the sales price, as defined by the Department of Revenue’s motor vehicle ad valorem assessment manual. When there is no value available in the assessment manual, the bill of sale or a reputable used car market guide determines the value. The trade-in value of another motor vehicle will be deducted from the value to get the taxable value. Other important changes that will go into effect on March 1, 2013 are as follows: • Vehicles transferred from another state to Georgia will be subject to the title ad valorem tax in two installment payments, in addition to the title and registration fees that they were responsible for in the past. • Leased vehicles will still be subject to a use tax on the monthly lease payment. The dealership is responsible for paying the title ad valorem tax and may include this cost in the term of the lease. Vehicle titles transferred between family members, including spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents or grandchildren, will be handled as follows:

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Facebook Is Powerful Tool in the Arsenal for Fighting Crime in Henry County With the launch of a Facebook page a little more than a year ago, police are finding that it has been a helpful tool in gathering information on active cases. Sergeant Joey Smith with the Internal Affairs Division said that in recent months, Facebook identifications have helped to solve at least eight cases that were put on the site as B.O.L.Os (Be On the Look Out). “Social Media has been very helpful. It is a tool that we utilize and the public has the opportunity to get involved with crime and concerns in our community,” said Smith. “Assistance from the public is crucial when investigating and dealing with crime, and we want constant communication between the public and law enforcement.” With nearly 5,000 likes, the HCPD also utilizes the social networking site to announce positive news in the The Henry County Police Department is charged department and citizens are encouraged to friend the Henry with keeping law and order in a county that has grown County Police Department on Facebook to keep up the exponentially in the last decade and officials are quick to latest news. Visit them at www.facebook.com/HCPDGA utilize nearly every tool available to them to solve cases and make the county safe for residents.

I am a sweet and loving soul that needs a lifetime companion to give me the home that I deserve. I was picked up as a stray, so my friends here at the shelter do not know anything about my past. If you would like to meet me, then please call my friends at (770) 288-PETS. My I.D. #11/17-3792 please refer to this number when inquiring about me. Lost and stray animals are held at the Henry County Animal Care and Control Shelter for four (4) calendar days (excluding Sundays and county holidays) in order to give their owners a chance to reclaim them. After that time period, adoptable animals are held as long as space allows.


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TITLE TAX From Page 3 • Vehicles owned prior to March 1, 2013: The family member who is titling the vehicle has the option to pay the full title ad valorem tax or continue to pay the annual ad valorem tax under the old system. • Vehicles purchased on or after March 1, 2013: The family member who is titling the vehicle is subject to a 0.5% title ad valorem tax. • Title applications must be processed in the county where the vehicle is to be registered. • Salvage vehicles and vehicles donated to charities will pay a reduced title ad valorem tax at a rate of 1%.

• Certain veterans who were exempt from annual motor vehicle ad valorem tax will also be exempt from the title ad valorem tax. The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) has developed a title ad valorem tax calculator to help people determine the amount of taxes they will owe that is available at: http://onlinemvd.dor.ga.gov/Tap/welcome.aspx. For more information on the new title ad valorem tax, go to www.etax.dor.ga.gov and click on “Motor Vehicles” and then the “Tax Calculator” button or www.accg.org and click on “Motor Vehicle Tax Reform.”


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