Details for SUMMARIES OF PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

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SUMMARIES OF PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS Pursuant to requirements of the Georgia Constitution, Attorney General Christopher Carr, Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp, and Legislative Counsel Richard C. Ruskell hereby provide the summaries of the proposed constitutional amendments that will appear on the November 6, 2018, general election ballot for consideration by the people of Georgia (short captions are those adopted by the Constitutional Amendments Publication Board): - 1 - Creates the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund to protect water quality, wildlife habitat, and parks. House Resolution No. 238 Resolution Act No. 414 Ga. L. 2018, p. 1138 "( ) YES ( ) NO Without increasing the current state sales tax rate, shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to create the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund to conserve lands that protect drinking water sources and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; to protect and conserve forests, fish, wildlife habitats, and state and local parks; and to provide opportunities for our children and families to play and enjoy the outdoors, by dedicating, subject to full public disclosure, up to 80 percent of the existing sales tax collected by sporting goods stores to such purposes without increasing the current state sales tax rate?" Summary This proposal authorizes the General Assembly to provide for an annual allocation of up to 80 percent of the revenue derived from the state sales and use tax collected by sporting goods stores to a trust fund to be used for the protection and preservation of conservation land. Any law adopted pursuant to this proposal shall provide for automatic repeal not more than ten years after its effective date; however, such repeal date may be extended for a maximum of ten additional years. It amends Article III, Section IX, Paragraph VI of the Georgia Constitution by adding a new subparagraph (p). A copy of this entire proposed constitutional amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is available for public inspection. - 2 - Creates a state-wide business court to lower costs, enhance efficiency, and promote predictable judicial outcomes. House Resolution 993 Resolution Act No. 410 Ga. L. 2018, p. 1130 "( ) YES ( ) NO Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to create a state-wide business court, authorize superior court business court divisions, and allow for the appointment process for state-wide business court judges in order to lower costs, improve the efficiency of all courts, and promote predictability of judicial outcomes in certain complex business disputes for the benefit of all citizens of this state?" Summary This proposal creates a state-wide business court with state-wide jurisdiction for use under certain circumstances. It contains provisions relating to venue, jurisdiction, and powers of such court and provides for selection, terms, and qualifications of state-wide business court judges. It amends Article VI of the Georgia Constitution by revising Sections I, II, III, IV, and VII. A copy of this entire proposed constitutional amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is available for public inspection. - 3 - Encourages the conservation, sustainability, and longevity of Georgia's working forests through tax subclassification and grants. House Resolution No. 51 Resolution Act No. 297 Ga. L. 2018, p. 1127 "( ) YES ( ) NO Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to revise provisions related to the subclassification for tax purposes of and the prescribed methodology for establishing the value of forest land conservation use property and related assistance grants, to provide that assistance grants related to forest land conservation use property may be increased by general law for a five-year period and that up to 5 percent of assistance grants may be deducted and retained by the state revenue commissioner to provide for certain state administrative costs, and to provide for the subclassification of qualified timberland property for ad valorem taxation purposes?" Summary This proposal revises provisions subclassifying forest land conservation use property for ad valorem taxation purposes. It revises the methodology for establishing the value of forest land conservation use property and related assistance grants. The proposal also permits the subclassification of qualified timberland property for ad valorem taxation purposes. It amends Article VII, Section I, Paragraph III of the Georgia Constitution by revising subparagraph (f) and by adding a new subparagraph (f.1). A copy of this entire proposed constitutional amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is available for public inspection. -4 - Provides rights for victims of crime in the judicial process. Senate Resolution No. 146 Resolution Act No. 467 Ga. L. 2018, p. 1139 "( ) YES ( ) NO Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide certain rights to victims against whom a crime has allegedly been perpetrated and allow victims to assert such rights?" Summary This proposal recognizes certain rights of victims against whom a crime has been perpetrated and provides for the enforcement of such rights. It amends Article I, Section I of the Georgia Constitution by adding a new Paragraph XXX. A copy of this entire proposed constitutional amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is available for public inspection. - 5 - Authorizes fair allocation of sales tax proceeds to county and city school districts. Senate Resolution No. 95 Resolution Act No. 278 Ga. L. 2017, p. 857 "( ) YES ( ) NO Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize a referendum for a sales and use tax for education by a county school district or an independent school district or districts within the county having a majority of the students enrolled within the county and to provide that the proceeds are distributed on a per student basis among all the school systems unless an agreement is reached among such school systems for a different distribution?" Summary This proposal authorizes a county school district or an independent school district or districts within the county having a majority of the students enrolled within the county to call for a referendum for a sales and use tax for education and provides that the proceeds are distributed on a per student basis among all the school systems unless an agreement is reached among such school systems for a different distribution. It amends Article VIII, Section VI, Paragraph IV of the Constitution by revising subparagraphs (a) and (g). A copy of this entire proposed constitutional amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is available for public inspection. SUMMARIES OF PROPOSED STATE-WIDE REFERENDUM QUESTIONS Pursuant to Code Section 21-2-4 of the O.C.G.A., the Secretary of State is authorized to include with the summaries of proposed constitutional amendments summaries of any state-wide referendum questions to be voted on at the same general election: - A - Provides for a homestead exemption for residents of certain municipal corporations. House Bill No. 820 Act No. 346 Ga. L. 2018, p. 235 "( ) YES ( ) NO Do you approve a new homestead exemption in a municipal corporation that is located in more than one county, that levies a sales tax for the purposes of a metropolitan area system of public transportation, and that has within its boundaries an independent school system, from ad valorem taxes for municipal purposes in the amount of the difference between the current year assessed value of a home and the adjusted base year value, provided that the lowest base year value will be adjusted yearly by 2.6 percent?" Summary This proposal authorizes a new homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes for municipal purposes in an amount equal to the amount by which the current year assessed value of a homestead exceeds the adjusted base year value of such homestead. This exemption would only apply to persons residing in a municipal corporation that is located in more than one county, that levies a sales tax for the purposes of a metropolitan area system of public transportation, and that has within its boundaries an independent school system. It enacts Code Section 48-5-44.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. If approved by a majority of the voters, the Act becomes effective on January 1, 2019, and applies to all tax years beginning on or after that date. - B - Provides a tax exemption for certain homes for the mentally disabled. House Bill No. 196 Act No. 25 Ga. L. 2017, p. 55 "( ) YES ( ) NO Shall the Act be approved which provides an exemption from ad valorem taxes on nonprofit homes for the mentally disabled if they include business corporations in the ownership structure for financing purposes?" Summary This proposal clarifies that the existing exemption from ad valorem taxation for nonprofit homes for the mentally disabled applies even when financing for construction or renovation of the homes is provided by a business corporation or other entity. It amends paragraph (13) of Code Section 48-5-41 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. If approved by a majority of the voters, the Act becomes effective on January 1, 2019, and applies to all tax years beginning on or after that date.

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