Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 26, 2013

Exempt now, pay later

Patti Dozier

THOMASVILLE — The price of a vehicle purchased Friday or afterward might cost less at the dealership. The sticker shock will come with the purchase of a tag.

A new law that changes how motor vehicles are taxed goes into effect Friday, after which motor vehicles will be exempt from sales and use tax, and the annual ad valorem tax paid on vehicles.

The so-called “birthday tax” on vehicles will be replaced by a one-time tax paid when the vehicle is titled. The tax will be on the fair market value of the vehicle.

Alicia Hester, Thomas County tax commissioner, pointed out that the Thomas County sales tax rate now is 7 percent. For the first year of the title ad valorem tax, the rate will be 6.5 percent of the fair market value as identified by the Georgia Motor Vehicle Assessment Manual.

The tax excludes non-titled vehicles, such as trailers, campers and other recreational vehicles.

Vehicles owned prior to Jan. 1, 2012, will remain on the old system, and owners will pay the annual ad valorem tax on their birthday.

Hester said the period between Jan. 1, 2012, and Feb. 28 is considered an “opt-in period.”

See Wednesday's edition for more details.