GBAN Legislative Update- March 2, 2018

Walt Farrell

Published March 2, 2018


Legislative Calendar

This week, the Georgia General Assembly convened Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday completing 29 legislative days of the 40-day session. Wednesday marked “crossover day”, the last day a bill can pass its chamber of origin in order to be considered by the other legislative body.

Next week, the Georgia General Assembly will reconvene on Monday, March 5, and will also meet on Wednesday and Friday.

Chamber Scorecard Legislation

House Bill 918: Revenue and taxation; Internal Revenue Code

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Bill Author: Representative Chuck Efstration (Dacula)

HB 918 provides for the annual Internal Revenue Code update for the tax years 2017 and 2018 and includes a reduction of both the personal and corporate income tax rate to 5.75% in 2019 and 5.5% in 2020 upon approval by the legislature. On Thursday following “crossover day”, the state Senate passed HB 918 by a vote of 44-10.  Also on Thursday, the state House voted 135-24 on the final passage of the measure which was signed into law March 2. The passage of this law marks Georgia’s first income tax reduction since 1937.To view the Georgia Chamber’s statement, click here. To learn more about HB 918, view Representative Efstration’s live interview here.

House Resolution 993: Constitutional Amendment to create business court with statewide jurisdiction

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Bill Author: Representative Chuck Efstration (Dacula)

HR 993 proposes an amendment to the Georgia Constitution that would establish a business court with statewide jurisdiction. If enacted and approved by voters in November, this court would provide specialized resolution of complex business litigation matters. On Wednesday, February 28, the state House passed HR 993 by a vote of 142-25.

Legislation of Interest

House Bill 696: Sales and use tax; certain computer equipment sold or leased to certain entities for use in high-technology data centers; create exemption

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Bill Author: Representative  Trey Kelley (R- Cedartown)

HB 696 allows for state sales and use tax exemptions for certain computer equipment sold or leased for use in high-technology data centers.  This is a modernization of existing tax law relative to data centers.  The new proposal incentivizes large investments by data centers in the state that will ultimately serve businesses across various industry sectors among other entities. On Wednesday, the state House passed HB 696 by a vote of 120-48.

Senate Bill 426: Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development (BILD) Act

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Bill Author: Senator Steve Gooch (Dahlonega)

On Wednesday, the state Senate passed SB 426 by a vote of 52-2. SB 426 seeks to in incentivize deployment of wireless broadband technology throughout the state.  Specifically, the bill modernizes Georgia's law to allow wireless companies to access the Right of Way (ROW); it provides for a uniform permitting process for small wireless facilities; and it establishes reasonable, cost-based fees for wireless access to the ROW.

House Bill 930: Georgia Regional Transportation Authority; creation of certain community improvement districts

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Bill Author: Representative Kevin Tanner (Dawsonville)


HB 930 creates the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority (the ‘ATL’): a new structure for coordinated and integrated transit planning for the 13-County Metro Atlanta region. The bill establishes the governance and accountability of the ATL, as well as outlining new and enhanced transit funding; including through optional local taxes (TSPLOST) which counties may apply to raise transit funds.

HB 930 creates a new regional governance and funding structure for transit in Metro Atlanta. Metro Atlanta is defined as the 13-County region currently under GRTA’s jurisdiction, namely: Cherokee, Clayton, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale Counties. The bill intends to improve the coordination, integration and efficiency of transit in the region, to promote a seamless and high-quality transit system for Metro Atlanta. On Wednesday, the state House passed HB 930 by a vote of 162-13.


Senate Bill 386:  Sales and Use Taxes; exception to the ceiling on local sales and use taxes; transit special purpose local option sales and use tax; provide; Atlanta-region Transit Link "ATL" Commission

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Bill Author: Senator  Brandon Beach (Alpharetta)

Senate Bill 386 aims to address the transit needs of 13 metro counties within the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) service area, and will create an Atlanta-region Transit Link (ATL) and, -transit funding for that governance structure.

SB 386 would authorize GRTA to oversee the creation of the ATL board. Counties under the ATL would be empowered to propose a ballot measure for a 30-year, sales tax in increments up to 1%. The “ATL” Commission will develop, manage, and execute regional transit strategies throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area. The ATL Commission will consist of the Georgia Commissioner of Transportation, Mayor of Atlanta, Chief Executive Officer of MARTA, and County Commission Chairmen from each member-county. On Wednesday, the state Senate passed SB 386 by vote of 51-4. To learn more about SB 386, view Chairman Brandon Beach’s live interview here.


Political Affairs Update

Qualifying for statewide offices, Congress and all State House and State Senate seats will be Monday, March 5 through Friday March 9. To view the qualifying candidate information,


The Georgia Chamber Political Affairs Council, Inc. (PAC) is continuing to support candidates for office who will champion business-friendly, job-creating initiatives. Your support of the PAC is essential as we work to keep Georgia the number one state in which to do business. To make a donation to the PAC, click here. For additional information regarding the Chamber’s Political Affairs Council, Inc., contact Chelsey Ruppersburg at

Click here to learn more about the Chamber’s 2018 Legislative Priorities.

View all previous GBAN Legislative Updates here.