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      Tax exemption rules change for farmers

      Pecan harvesters in Lee County.

      Starting January 1st farmers looking for a discount on supplies will have to adhere to new state rules.

      In order to receive a sales tax exemption for input and agriculture products workers will have to produce a Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption card proving that they are farmers.

      Companies that sell seed, fertilizer, and other products will have to charge sales tax to anyone without a GATE card.

      So far more than 5,000 cards have been issued, but there are still thousands who need to sign up.

      Officials say it's important for farmers get this card for savings.

      The Georgia Department of Revenue is in charge of auditing the tax collections and the vendors over the course of time, so that's why it's so important for farmers to have his card so that the vendors can record and make sure that the transaction took place properly, said Gary Black, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner.

      There is not a deadline for signing up for a GATE card.

      To sign up for the card people can log on to the www.agr.georgia.gov website. A team of agents are available to answer questions at the Department of Agriculture call center.

      Applicants will have to fill out a line of questions before they are approved. Each GATE card has a $20 fee and will last for a year.

      Stay connected to MySouthWestGA.com as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!