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Questions on the Georgia Ballot in the November 8 General Primary

1 – Provides suspension of compensation of certain State officers and members of the General Assembly. Senate Resolution No. 134, Resolution Act No. 304 'Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to suspend the compensation of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, or any member of the General Assembly while such individual is suspended from office following indictment forafelony?' Yes No This is a constitutional amendment on the November ballot prohibiting statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly from continuing to collect their salary after they have been indicted for a felony and suspended from office. Supporters say amending the state Constitution to prevent indicted elected officials from collecting salaries while awaiting trial would close a glaring loophole in state law. In the business world … you would not pay someone convicted of a felony to do a job.

2 – Provides temporary local tax relief after disasters.

House Resolution 594 Resolution Act No. 803 'Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the governing authority of each county, municipality, and consolidated government and the board of education of each independent and county school system in this state shall be authorized to grant temporary tax relief to properties within its jurisdiction which are severely damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster and located within a nationally declared disaster area?' Yes No

This would allow cities, counties and local school districts to temporarily exempt disaster victims from paying property taxes. The constitutional amendment aimed at helping disaster victims was prompted by a strong tornado that hit Heard, Coweta, and Fayette counties in March of last year. Property owners who lost everything that spring still were hit with property tax bills last fall, forcing some to pay taxes on homes and businesses that essentially didn’t exist. The amendment would let local governments and school boards grant temporary tax relief to owners of properties that have been severely damaged or destroyed by a disaster and are located within a nationally declared disaster area.

A – Provides ad valorem tax exemption certain timber production, reforestation, and harvesting equipment. House Bill No. 997 Act No. 859 'Shall the Act be approved which grants a state-wide exemption from all ad valorem taxes certain equipment used by timber producers in the production or harvest of timber?' Yes No

Georgia ranks as the No.-1 forestry state in the nation, according to the Georgia Forestry Association. The tax exemption would include not only the heavy equipment used to harvest timber but also the tractors used in planting trees for reforestation. Some of these pieces of equipment can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

B – Expands ad valorem tax exemption family- owned farms and adds qualified products to the exemption. House Bill No. 498 Act No. 260 'Shall the Act be approved which expands a state-wide exemption from ad valorem taxes agricultural equipment and certain farm products held by certain entities to include entities comprising two or more family-owned farm entities, and which adds dairy products and unfertilized eggs of poultry as qualified farm products with respect to such exemption?' Yes No This would expand an existing property tax exemption for agricultural equipment by applying it to equipment shared by two or more family farms. The intense amount of capital required to farm makes neighbors share equipment sometimes. Becoming as efficient as we can in how we use technology is one part of solving the equation. The ballot question also would add dairy products and unfertilized poultry eggs to the tax exemption.

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