Gov. Nathan Deal today signed House Bill 958, legislation that will extend the statewide back-to-school tax-free holiday and ENERGY STAR and WaterSense appliance tax-free holiday weekends for an additional two years. The bill, signed during visits to the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Atlanta Food Bank, is a direct result of the Governor’s Competitiveness Initiative and is a continuation of the Georgia Jobs and Family Tax Reform Plan originally signed into law in 2012.
“The sales tax holidays will allow Georgia’s families to save money on those necessary items for school and on appliances that will help conserve Georgia’s energy resources,” Deal said. “This tax reform package has made our state a better place to work and raise a family, and I will continue my commitment to maintaining our status as having one of the lowest per capita taxpayer burdens in the country.”
The fiscal note estimates that over the two-year time period the two-day back-to-school holiday, taking place this year on Aug. 1-2, will save Georgians up to $143 million and the energy efficient household appliance tax holiday, taking place this year on Oct. 3-5, will save taxpayers $2.6 million.
The bill also provides a new sales tax exemption for Georgia’s food banks, an initiative that will help sustain charitable service across the state, saving an estimated $2.5 million over two years.
“I strongly believe in the mission of our local food banks,” Deal said. “With their help, we have been able to actively fight against hunger, serve those less fortunate and assist with disaster relief. It is my hope that this tax exemption will make room for a significant amount of growth and progress for those organizations.”
In addition, HB 958 extends the tax credit for video game production companies and provides an extension of the project of regional significance sales tax exemption.
Deal also signed into law today two pieces of legislation, HB 715 and SB 296, that promote the responsible development of Jekyll Island. The bill outlines the maximum amount of land the Jekyll Island Authority may develop and authorizes certain amounts of land for the purpose of public recreation, safety, health, expansion of campgrounds and unrestricted use.
“Jekyll Island is home to a vast range of some of Georgia’s most precious natural resources and wildlife,” said Deal. “This bill will allow for Jekyll to make key redevelopments, elevating its reputation as one of Georgia’s most beautiful and exciting tourism destinations while preserving the natural and historic environment found near its shores.”
Deal also signed the following bill:
- HB 881, legislation that will create a specialty tag for the Grady Health Foundation and will adjust the funding allocation for three specialty wildlife tags critical to the Department of Natural Resource’s nongame, trout management and bobwhite quail conservation programs.