Car buyers benefit from tax reform

The Dougherty County Commission heard presentations regarding Thronateeska awards and new tax legislation. / Matt Prichard

Commissioners with Dougherty County met Monday to gain a better understanding of a new tax that affects future car buyers.

"We don't fully understand it yet, but this is legislation that was passed last year by the state legislature, that will essentially eliminate the so-called "birthday tax," said Dougherty County Commissioner, Gloria Gaines.

In past years those that bought a car would pay an annual tax on their birthday. However with the new tax being implemented March 1st, car buyers will pay it all upfront, instead of those yearly installments.

"There will be a 6.5% percent ad valorem tax fee at that time, at the counter, or when its processed," said Dougherty County Tax Commissioner, Denver Hooten.

Meaning that although you may pay more at the dealership, it could save you some cash down the road.

"It's very possible, and more likely that if you pay this one time fee, it will be less than you would pay if you're going to keep the car for a few years," said Hooten.

Of course this also affects those looking to buy a car from an individual owner.

"Now that individual would have to come in, and bring that same title, pay the $18 dollars, but also the 6.5% percent," said Hooten.

Commissioners also wrapped their discussion around revenue for the county, voicing concerns that income from the car tax might see a dip. However the new tax can fluctuate up to 9% percent, keeping revenue numbers, right where they are.