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Friday August 28th, 2015 8:21PM

'Opt in' deadline nearing for new Ga. vehicle tax program

By Ken Stanford Reporter
GAINESVILLE - The deadline is nearing for Georgians to sign up for the state's new system of paying taxes on motor vehicles.

The new Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT), which removes the sales tax and annual ad valorem tax on newly purchased vehicles, went into effect March 1, 2013. The TAVT rate is 6.5 percent in 2013; 6.75 percent in 2014 and 7 percent in 2015.

The "opt in" deadline is Feb. 28, 2014.

Hall County Tax Commissioner Darla Eden recently issued several "important and time-sensitive" reminders for vehicle owners:

- Vehicles purchased after February 28, 2013 are automatically in the new TAVT system. TAVT is based on the greater of the retail price or fair market value of the vehicle.

- Vehicles purchased between January 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013 are eligible to opt in to the new TAVT system. TAVT replaces the annual vehicle ad valorem tax, often called the "birthday tax." Vehicle owners will need to bring in their bill of sale and Georgia driver's license with a Hall County address. The deadline to "opt in" is February 28, 2014.

- Vehicles purchased prior to January 1, 2012 will stay on the annual ad valorem system (birthday system).

- TAVT is applicable to sales between individuals (casual sales) as well as each time the vehicle is sold and retitled. TAVT is based on the fair market value of the vehicle.

- New residents to Georgia (after February 28, 2013) are subject to TAVT. If new residency is January 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013 and the tile was transferred to Georgia during this time period, you may opt in to TAVT.

- A title tax calculator is on the tax commissioner's website, tax.hallcounty.org, or https://etax.dor.ga.gov/.
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