Related Issues

Full Collection of Sales Taxes; Provision of Data
Partnerships to Succeed
For years, municipal officials have requested data detailing the taxing of retail transactions. Possessing this data will increase compliance, provide valuable insight into the health and vitality of the retail sector of the local economy and demonstrate whether economic development efforts focused on increasing retail activity are having the desired impact.
Internet Sales Tax
Tools to Build
The very viability of retail in Georgia relies on leveling the playing field for our brick and mortar retailers in cities and downtowns. In 2016, Georgia and its local governments lost out of an estimated $357 million in uncollected taxes from out-of-state Internet sales or e-commerce transactions. This creates a competitive disadvantage for our local businesses, which employ people in our communities, and are often the heartbeat of our cities. Additionally, leveling the playing field for Georgia-based retailers by applying sales tax to all Internet purchases would alleviates the pressure to raise millage rates. Applying the same rule to online retail as we do to local stores will lead to more vibrant and thriving communities.
Law Enforcement Salaries
Authority to Lead

Due to size, location and various socio-economic circumstances, city governments differ in staffing, capacity, and fiscal resources. A one-size-fits-all law enforcement compensation mandate would not be feasible or fair to taxpayers at the municipal level. Appropriate compensation levels for law enforcement are best discussed at the municipal level. Any state-level requirement that increases local salaries would need to take into account the responsibilities of local governments, and budget limitations and affordability to taxpayers in each of Georgia’s cities.

Management of Public Rights-of-Way
Authority to Lead
Cities’ rights-of-way are valuable public assets and they should receive fair compensation from private companies for the usage of the space. Cities currently have the authority to regulate and maintain their rights-of-way, but the demand for new technology and deployment of new infrastructure puts local authority of public spaces in jeopardy. In addition to the revenue cities receive from renting public spaces, they are also responsible for not compromising the aesthetic character of the community and protecting public safety in the rights-of-way. Historically, cities have always held authority over the rights-of-way, including through the build-out of electricity, telephone and cable services. The deployment of broadband and other wireless technologies should not come at the expense of the taxpayers or local authorities.
Passenger Rail/Transit Investment & Operations
Tools to Build
As Georgia’s population increases, it is becoming more and more difficult to move people in an efficient and cost effective manner, especially in and between the state’s metropolitan areas. The development of viable commuter and passenger rail service is essential to the economic well-being of the state and its municipalities and counties. Flexibility in transit and passenger rail funding options for local governments should be a priority, such as amending the state Transportation Investment Act (TIA) and the single-county T-SPLOST laws to allow for long-term levy of sales taxes for these purposes.  Linear, multijurisdictional transit and rail community improvement districts should also be an option to facilitate transit- and rail-oriented development along routes and corridors.
Transportation Infrastructure
Funding Needs
Transportation infrastructure creates the arteries in which we move people and goods throughout our state. This infrastructure in many cases is in a state of disrepair. Additional tools are needed to allow for more people and more goods to continue to travel on our roads, streets and bridges due to our state’s increasing population. Long-term, sustainable, and diverse funding streams are necessary to expand and improve the statewide multi-modal transportation network. Specifically, transportation revenues must address needs beyond roads and bridges, including sidewalks, bicycle paths, transit, light rail, and commuter passenger rail.  Public transit is often mentioned as a mobility tool to further economic-development vitality and a way to improve the quality of life; however, long-term funding remains a concern.