TRALA Meeting with GA Department of Revenue Focuses on Vehicle Registration, Tax Policy
This week TRALA was joined by several members and the Georgia Motor Truck Association in a meeting with senior officials from the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) to discuss issues TRALA members are currently facing in the state. The issues discussed included problems associated with completing International Registration Plan (IRP) registrations, and the interpretation and implementation of recently passed legislation, HB 386, which includes several changes to motor vehicle tax policies.
TRALA expressed to the DOR that, over the last several years, TRALA members who complete IRP registrations in Georgia have experienced significant delays throughout the process. It sometimes takes a week or more to register vehicles due to the titling work that must be completed at the county level prior to a company submitting the supplement to the IRP office. Between processing the application entry/mileage entry, ad valorem receipts, post ad valorem payments, and the renewed cab card receipt, the renewal process sometimes takes four to six weeks to complete. TRALA and the DOR agree that the passage of HB 386, which contains a section that will phase out the property tax on motor vehicles and instead implement a one-time "titling tax," will in fact help to gradually eliminate problems with delays, but at the same time there are new problems associated with the new law specifically impacting vehicle lessors.
Under HB 386, lessors may get stuck in a situation where tax will be applied to the same truck twice, due to leasing companies having to pay a "titling tax" based on the initial purchase price of the truck, and then leasing companies being required to charge sales tax on the monthly lease payments, including mileage charges. There is an exemption from the sales tax for interstate common carriers, however, that would not apply to most TRALA member customers, which are generally small businesses with small truck fleets. This issue of double taxation is not limited to trucking companies; passenger automobiles that are leased will be faced with the same problem.
While the DOR was receptive to TRALA's concerns, the ultimate solution to the problems created by HB 386 cannot be addressed administratively. As such, TRALA plans to seek a legislative solution during the 2013 legislative session.
TRALA appreciates the valuable support from its members, and from Georgia Motor Truck Association President & CEO Ed Crowell. To see a copy of HB 386, click here. For questions, contact TRALA's Joe Sculley at email@example.com or at (703) 299-9120.