LAWRENCEVILLE -- The reform of the so-called "birthday tax" will mean extra expenses at the tax commissioner's office.
During a budget discussion in Gwinnett Monday, Tax Commissioner Richard Steele asked for a boost to expenses to deal with the new law, which becomes effective in March.
With some extra workers and equipment needed to deal with questions and concerns from people, Steele said the biggest expense will likely come from credit card fees, to the tune of half a million dollars.
The new law will do away with annual taxes for motor vehicles, but it will instead require a larger initial tax. For example, Steele said, if a person buys a car from a neighbor for $5,000, he now pays $18 for a title fee and $20 for a tag fee. When the new law is fully affective, the transfer of the title will require a $325 title tax.
The law has a transition period, where people can choose to maintain the lower annual fee instead of the higher one-time fee. Steele said he expects transactions to take five to 10 minutes longer each, as staffers help people calculate which option is better for them.
Steele has asked to add eight contract employees in tag offices to help with the increase, and two more in a call center.
"We feel like the first year is going to be the worst," he said of the transition, when he is asking for employees to be contracted, not added to the county payroll. "It's not a long-term commitment to keep these people on."
Steele has also asked for some extra money for educational materials to make people aware of the new law, and he expects a need for $170,000 in postage in 2013, since new tags will have to be issued to all car owners.