New Georgia car tax causes confusion, crowds tax commissioner of - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

New Georgia car tax causes confusion, crowds tax commissioner office

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Lines spilling out the doors in both Richmond County's tax commission sub stations. A new car tax law became effective today, confusing a lot of people affected by it.

"VERY confusing," said Angel Smith, who recently purchased a used car.

"It was easy to understand…the second time he told me," Tamika Lawrence laughs. She recently bought a used car.

The Title Ad Valorem Tax is set to replace Georgia's "birthday tax" law on car sales. But it only has an impact car buyers who purchased a new or used vehicle after March 1, or between January 2012 and February 2013.

"We have some who really don't understand the system, and so we take the time to explain it to them. We even help them fill out the form," said Tederell Johnson, chief deputy tax commissioner.

The deputy tax commissioner says a lot of car owners are crowding the offices because many don't understand the new law. So here's how it works:

  • If you bought a car before March 1st, you will continue paying the 8 percent birthday tax each year until you get rid of the vehicle. 
  • If you buy a car after March 1st, you will pay the one-time Title Ad Valorem Tax: 6.5 percent, based on the value of your new or used car. 
  • If you bought a car between January 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013, you can choose between paying the birthday tax, or the new tax.

"I'm going to do it. It's cheaper that way," Lawrence said.

 "I just don't have $140 to fork our right now; just buying a car," Smith said.

It's a personal financial choice for car owners eligible for either tax law. And in an effort to avoid those long lines, the tax commission office says do your research before coming in.

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