On March 15, the Georgia General Assembly met for legislative day 28, which was “Crossover Day.” Crossover Day is the last day a bill can pass out of its Chamber of origin for consideration by the other body during the current legislative session for the week. The Georgia General Assembly met for legislative day 32 on Monday, March 21. Thursday, March 24 will be a committee workday.
Savannah Area Chamber’s Legislative Priorities in Action Last Week
House Bill 1053 (sponsored by State Representative Ron Stephens) extends the film post-production tax credit that expires on January 1, 2023, through 2027. Since its inception, the tax credit has been fully subscribed and has successfully supported an extending post-production industry in Georgia. The Bill passed out of the House on March 15 and was referred to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration. HB 1053 aligns with the Chamber’s efforts to support the Georgia film industry by supporting post-production tax credits and advocating for these credits’ continued protection.
House Bill 910, the FY 2022 Supplemental Appropriations Bill, was signed by Governor Brian Kemp on March 16. HB 910 includes several Chamber-supported funding projects, including funding for Savannah Technical College and Georgia Southern. HB 910 also provides $1.6 billion for state income tax refunds, giving single tax filers a $250 refund and joint filers a $500 refund.
While not on our Legislative Agenda for 2022, the Chamber will continue to monitor the following legislation that made moves last week:
House Bill 304, to help curtail record-high gas prices, the House and Senate passed, and Governor Kemp has signed HB 304 into law. This legislation suspends the state’s 29.1 cents-a-gallon motor fuel tax through May 31. According to Gov. Kemp’s office, HB 304 would save Georgia drivers over $300 million in taxes. The Bill would allow for loss of revenue to be reconciled with surplus state funds.
HB 934 would allow a single county Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) to be collected for five years rather than ending the collection once a certain amount is collected. HB 934 passed the House and has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.
House Bill 1302 would refund $1.6 billion in surplus state funds to Georgians who filed income tax returns for both 2020 and 2021 taxable years. HB 1302 would allow a $250 refund to single filers and $500 to joint filers. HB 1302 passed the House on March 1 and passed the Senate on March 16.
Senate Resolution 659 was introduced on March 11 by Senator Carden Summers. SR 659 would create the Georgia Senate Study Committee on Unsheltered Homelessness. This study committee will look at the conditions, needs, issues, and problems that have caused a significant increase in the unsheltered homeless population in Georgia and develop specific recommendations to address the findings discovered by the study committee. The increase in the homeless population in the Chatham County area is concerning to many, including the Savannah business community. We will continue to monitor the progress of SR 659.