Local tax commissioners ask for patience with "birthday tax" cha - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Local tax commissioners ask for patience with "birthday tax" changes

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Evelyn Bobo was all set to begin shopping for a new car, when word of tax changes concerned her.

"I have to pay this in advance of that or you can't get your registration," she says. "What if there's mistakes made?"

Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill ending the annual "birthday tax" for all residents who purchase a new or used car after March 1.

Instead, buyers will pay a one-time 6.5% sales tax.

Evelyn admits all the changes are confusing, but she's not the only one feeling this way.

Local tax commissioners also say they expect growing pains as they implement the changes.

"There are going to be times in which everyone is not going to know all the answers and there's going to be times when mistakes are made," says Richmond Co. Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick. "Those growing pains are going to happen. What we're going to attempt to do is minimize that and this is part of that process."

Tax commissioners from several local counties addressed the changes Tuesday morning, and had similar requests for when the changes go into effect Friday.

"What's going to happen is you're going to have so many questions that its going to cause a drain in our resources," Kendrick says.

"We're expecting a lot of people and we're just asking folks to please be patient," says Columbia Co. Tax Commissioner Kay Allen.

The offices will be using new state-designed software they will use for the first time Friday.

Columbia and Burke Counties' offices will be closed temporarily Friday to train. Columbia County's office will open at noon, while Burke will open at 1 p.m.

Richmond County's office will close Thursday at 4 p.m.

Kendrick says his office is also anticipating heavy call traffic.

But it's not just the Commissioners' Offices that are dealing with growing pains, car dealers are also asking for patience as the learn the ins and outs of this new tax.

"Maybe after some time when we learn what exactly is exempt and what's not, I think its going to be a little easier for us on that end," says Bobby Jones Ford Sales Manager Jesse Strickland.

With so much uncertainty, Evelyn says she's going to just wait and let everyone work out the new tax kinks before making her new purchase.

"I'm not even sure I'm going to look to even buy a car for a long time," she laughs.

For answers to FAQ's about the new tax changes, go to http://onlinemvd.dor.ga.gov/TAP/faqs.aspx.

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