Wave goodbye to the birthday car tax

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News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- On March 1, new car buyers in Georgia can wave goodbye to the ad valorem tax.

The Inside Story on 96.3 Kiss FM was all about the birthday tax.

"It's claim to fame is that it makes the birthday tax go away," said Tax Commissioner Steve Kendrick.

Kendrick is talking about House Bill 386. Starting March 1, it eliminates the annual ad valorem tax car owners pay along with the sales tax on new cars.

"For most of us here in Georgia, we know the birthday tax is the ad valorem tax that we pay on automobiles," Kendrick said.

Any person who buys a new or used car after March 1 will not have to pay the annual birthday tax. Instead, you'll pay a one-time fee upfront of 6.5 percent and that amount could increase to 7 percent in two years.

"Right now, I'm driving a 2004. It's making me want to stay in my 2004, but at the same time, it's something to think about," said driver Crystal Jackson-Ketchup.

Car sales from person to person are affected as well.

"If you buy all used cars you are probably not going to like this as much. You are going to pay that transaction fee from the beginning," Kendrick said.

Bottom line, there's just a few weeks left before it all kicks into gear.

Car owners who do not agree with how the state will assess their car value can appeal it.

For more information about how House Bill 386 works, call (706) 821-2475 or (706) 821-2391.

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