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Where the Rubber Meets the Showroom Floor
Tuesday, 19 March 2013

March 19--  Georgia's new vehicle title tax started the first of the month and some customers are a little confused about the new system.

Chris Reeves with Harton Chevrolet-Buick-GMC in Vidalia says buyers need to know it's a good deal.

"For some reason they think now they're having to pay sales tax and when they get to the tag office they're going to have to pay ad valorem taxes which is untrue.

"There is no longer a sales tax added on a vehicle.  It's called a Tax Ad Valorem and what happens is once they pay this one time at the dealership, when they go to the tag office from now till they get rid of that car, they will no longer have to pay ad valorem tax on the vehicle.  They will have to pay the annual tag fee which probably runs around $20, but they will no longer pay ad valorem taxes on the vehicle," Reeves notes.

Reeves says the new title tax is actually less than buyers were paying before March.

"If there's a rebate, they take that off before the tax ad valorem is added.  Even if you have a trade, they take that off and you take the rebate off.  So, it's really helping people because the tax rate went from 8% to 6.5%, there's no longer a SLPOST fee which was one percent on the first $5,000 and that's no longer out there," he says.

In Reeves opinion, the new system may not help state revenue as much as lawmakers thought.

"I don't know how long this is going to last because it's actually been better for the consumer than it has been for the state," he says.

On thing the new law does do is close a loophole on vehicle sales between private individuals.  When you go to get your title on a private sale, you'll have to pay a sales tax before you can get your tag and title.

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