Cities could get larger share of Georgia vehicle tax revenue

Georgia lawmakers could change how vehicle tax revenue is split among cities, counties and school districts.

House members voted 157-1 on Tuesday for House Bill 779, sending it to the Senate for more debate.

Georgia charges a combined title fee and property tax when an owner first registers a vehicle in Georgia for cars and trucks purchased since 2013. That was a change from the earlier system of annual property tax payments.

Local governments complained that the new system reduced their revenue, and lawmakers gave them a larger share. But Rep. Shaw Blackmon, a Bonaire Republican, says under the most recent change, cities were still short of revenue, while schools and counties saw revenues rise.

Now, 28% of shared revenue goes to counties, 23% to cities and 49% to a county school district. The bill would give cities 28% and counties 23%. In cities with their own school districts, cities would get 34%, counties would get 28% and city school districts would get 43%.