Georgia’s legislative session wrapped up on April 4, 2022. Numerous bills affecting Georgia’s property tax system were introduced during the session, but only a few will be heading to the Governor’s desk. Below is a recap of the legislation that passed. You can find the full text of each bill by searching on the Georgia Legislature’s website.
HR 594: Property Tax Relief for Property Affected by Natural Disaster. This legislation will amend the state constitution to allow local governments to provide temporary property tax relief to properties severely damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster. This proposed constitutional amendment must be approved by voters in November 2022. If the amendment passes, the legislature will revisit the issue next year to decide on the specifics of eligibility and procedures for such relief.
HB 997: Exemption for Timber Equipment. This bill proposes another state constitutional amendment, which would exempt equipment used in timber production and harvesting from property taxation.
HB 916: Superior and State Court Appellate Practice Act. This bill makes broad changes to Georgia’s legal procedures for cases appealed to Superior and State Courts, including in some circumstances, property tax cases. This bill specifically changes a few provisions related to property tax appeals, most importantly: filing fees must be paid to the assessor’s office instead of the superior court clerk, and bench trials must be heard within 120 days of filing in court. These provisions will be effective for property tax appeals to superior court filed after July 1, 2023. By that time, we hope to have guidance as to which, if any, other provisions of this bill will impact property tax litigation.