There are two environmental Constitutional Amendments on the Georgia ballot this year. Georgia Conservation Voters recommends a YES vote on both.
The amendment will allow a portion of the existing sales tax we are already paying on outdoor sporting goods to support the protection of the state’s land, water and wildlife with no new taxes or fees.
Over $20 million would be dedicated every year for the next ten years. This funding could not be used for any other purpose and would be subject to strict accountability provisions and public disclosure. Only projects consistent with the state’s established goals for conservation would be approved.
This amendment fixes the problem lack of uniformity of county tax assessments on forest land by creating a new class of land that is assessed by the Georgia Department of Revenue. It also updates the base year to 2008 for calculating the grants to counties based on property tax lost to the Forest Land Protection Act. Some counties went out and doubled their assessments as a trick to get more money from the state. So some counties don’t like it, but get a 5 year phase in to adjust, and other counties will now get their fair share.