(The Center Square) – In addition to the green lighting of the state Spending plan of $ 27.2 billion For the coming fiscal year, Georgian lawmakers worked overtime to pass a number of bills before the legislature ended early Thursday morning.
During the 14-hour session, the General Assembly approved bills to extend and review state tax breaks, limit police budget cuts, repeal the citizen’s arrest law, respect summer time, and allow athletes to benefit financially from their skills.
Governor Brian Kemp has 40 days to approve or veto the bills before they become law. Here is a summary of some of the invoices submitted on the last day of the meeting:
Return on Investment Act of 2021 Tax Credit: The bill allows the Chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to request up to five economic reviews of existing or proposed Georgian laws each year that address tax exemptions, credits, deferrals, rebates, reductions or preferential rates. It includes the expansion of sales tax exemptions for economic development projects in certain manufacturing industries. It exempts sales tax on tickets for art performances by non-profit organizations and museums. It also adds tax credits for pharmaceutical companies and tax breaks for high impact aerospace defense projects. The Senate was cleared unanimously, and the House passed the measure by 146-25 votes.
Hotel and motel tax:: House bill 317 Online short-term rental companies like Airbnb would have to collect hotel and motel excise taxes and pay them to local authorities. HB 317 also adds the excise tax of $ 5 per night for all accommodations and rooms except for accommodations that do not offer protection. Financial analysts estimate the move could increase state tax revenues by more than $ 17 million in 2022 and by more than $ 100 million in the next five years. HB 317 cleared the Senate by 31: 5 and passed the House with 142: 22 votes.
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Citizen arrest:: House bill 479 would remove civilians’ right to arrest individuals other than retailers and restaurant owners in certain situations. Weight inspectors, licensed private security guards and private investigators could also detain someone on duty, and law enforcement officers could make the arrests outside of their jurisdiction. HB 479 cleared the House unanimously and the Senate with 52-1 votes.
Police finance:: House bill 286 Bans counties and municipalities in Georgia from cutting their budgets for police departments by more than 5%. Governments seeking assistance from other law enforcement agencies or ordered by a court to change public services would be exempt from the directive. However, the exemptions do not apply to law enforcement agencies with fewer than 25 full-time or part-time officers. The bill received final House approval with 100-73 votes. It cleared the Senate, 36-15.
Summertime:: Senate Act 100 would allow Georgia to observe daylight saving time year round if Congress allows states to make the change. The measure would end the need to set the clocks back one hour in the spring and one hour in the fall. SB 100 received the final approval of the Senate with 45-6 votes and cleared the house with 111-48 votes.
Student athletes:: House bill 617 enables college athletes to get paid for their name and likeness. The measure would take effect if Congress passed federal law or the NCAA passed the rule. If not, it would automatically become law in June 2025. HB 617 vacated the house, 163-5, and the Senate, 43-8.
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