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OUR VIEW: Residents need to prepare themselves for vehicle title tax

You may notice a longer line if you visit your local tag office today, which marks the beginning of the state's new title tax. Starting March 1, a new law charges a one-time title tax (6.5 percent this year) on any vehicle purchased (new or used) instead of a yearly ad valorem charge, commonly referred to as the "birthday tax."

Despite a campaign by Gwinnett Tax Commissioner Richard Steele to familiarize county residents with the new law, he expects there to continue to be some confusion (and longer lines as a consequence) as people get used to it. While the title tax can be rolled into the loan on a new or used car, the new law may cause the most consternation among people who buy a used car directly from a friend or neighbor not realizing they will then have to pay an additional charge of 6.5 percent to legally operate the vehicle.

"We feel like there will be a lot of people not prepared to pay that 6.5 percent," Steel said, adding "(I think) we'll see a lot more use of credit cards in the tag office."

The key, Steele said, is knowing your options before you get to the window at the tag office. While people purchasing vehicles March 1 or after have no choice on the title tax, those who purchased vehicles between Jan. 1 of 2012 and Feb. 28 of this year can either pay ad valorem or opt in to the title tax, receiving credit for sales tax already paid. A title tax calculator found at www.GwinnettTaxCommisioner.com can help determine which way makes more financial sense for you.

Owners of older vehicles will continue to pay ad valorem and everyone will pay an annual tag fee of $20, but those buying cars today and after (and even those moving to Georgia from another state) need to be prepared for the title tax, and for the possibility of long lines that may accompany trying to pay it.

Comments

R 1 year, 10 months ago

The people in general need to pay more attention to what happens in local and state governance before the legislation passes.

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notblind 1 year, 9 months ago

Government for the people is long gone. TAX TAX TAX.

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kevin 1 year, 9 months ago

Pay the tax the next time you buy a car and move on with your life. If you keep that car 8+ years, you will surely come out ahead.

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kevin 1 year, 9 months ago

I agree with you "R." They all come out of the woodwork complaining after it is too late. No one has time to look at the political news on TV or online to see what our Gwinnett BOC are doing to us daily. Money gets approved and flows like water.

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Why_not 1 year, 9 months ago

Kevin....I am sure you are aware that the BOC had nothing to do with the new title tax.

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kevin 1 year, 8 months ago

Not true. The county gets its share of the sales tax being charged.

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Why_not 1 year, 8 months ago

Of course all counties get revenue from it....I meant that they had nothing to do with the legislation. Of course you will argue that fact I am sure.

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CD 1 year, 9 months ago

I purchased a high end CPO auto in July. I normally buy new or CPO from the dealer. I went down to the tag office to opt in yesterday and did so for nothing else out of pocket. Of course, sales tax was paid at time of purchase and ad val on my bday last year. Net, I won't pay for the next 2 to 3 years other than the tag fee. Depending on the county tax rate, the new title tax may be less or slightly more than before the change.

The tax will hurt person to person sales. That was the intent. The new/used dealer lobby pays cash; voters just cast a vote. In gwinnett, voters will pull that republican lever even if deal condemned your kids to death--assuming he could. That is just a fact.

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R 1 year, 9 months ago

The times they are a changin'

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kevin 1 year, 8 months ago

Why aren't residents preparing themselves for the next election so they can put someone new in office. You reap what you people sow.

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Why_not 1 year, 8 months ago

As we all can see....the republicans always all about less taxes and smaller government, but once they get in office all of that goes out the window.

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kevin 1 year, 8 months ago

Just like what Obama has been doing since 2008, lying.

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