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Monday, January 14, 2013 - 2:44pm

New Title Tax Is Confusing Motorists

The new title tax on vehicles purchased in 2013 goes into effect March first. But local tax commissioners across the state say there’s a lot of confusion about the changes.

Tabetha DuPriest, Worth County Tax Commissioner, says a lot of residents think they no longer have to pay the ad valorum, or birthday tax on their existing vehicles.

“And we’re trying to explain to them it’s only on new purchases to them as of March 1st, 2013.”she says.

If you bought a car between January of 2012 and March of 2013 you can opt-in to the new system.

David Curry, Henry County Tax Commissioner, says his office has spent the most time trying to explain that you can’t opt in until after March 1st.
He says “Most of the questions we get today in motor vehicles has to do with an individual’s rights of opting in to the new system. People are just confused and it’s not their fault. We have not done a good job getting the information out there.”

DuPriest says she expects even more confusion when the the law goes into effect.

“It’s going to be confusing not only to the residents but also to the staff. Because there are a lot of changes, based on whether you live here in the state of Georgia. If you move into the state of Georgia and transfer your title. If you’re a family member transferring a title to another family member. So there’s a lot of different changes that are going to be there. And it’s going to be real confusing to a lot of people.” she says.

Curry says “I don’t want anybody feeling they have to rush in here March 1. You have the rest of the year to opt in to the new system. If your birthday is between January 1 and February 28th the Department of Revenue and the Motor Vehicle Division will send out reminders asking people to come in prior to December 31st to opt in to the new system.”

Tax commissioners are urging residents who bought a car in the last year to opt-in around the time of their birthday to avoid long lines March first.

The State Department of Revenue has a calculator on its website to determine how the changes in state law will impact your vehicle taxes.

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