New motor vehicle tax effective in March

COVINGTON -- Tax Commissioner Barbara Dingler is advising residents to be aware of changes to the motor vehicle tax effective March 1.

House Bill 386 removes the sales tax and annual ad valorem tax on newly purchased vehicles. It replaces these taxes with a new title tax of 6.5 percent in 2013, increasing to 6.75 percent in 2014, Dingler said.

"If you purchase a vehicle on or after March 1, 2013, you will pay the new title tax when you apply for the title and register the vehicle," according to a press release issued by Dingler. "The new title tax is not due every year but is due each time the vehicle is sold and titled. It applies to dealer sales as well as sales between individuals."

The new title tax is based on a percentage of the fair market value, not the sale price, of the vehicle as determined by the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Annual ad valorem tax will continue to be owed on previously purchased vehicles.

Those who purchased a vehicle between Jan. 1, 2012, and Feb. 28, 2013, have the option of paying the new title tax instead of the current annual ad valorem tax and have from March 1, 2013, until Dec. 31, 2013, to opt into the new program. Vehicles purchased out of state are not eligible to opt in.

All other existing annual vehicle registration requirements, including annual tag renewal fees, decals and emission tests (if applicable), remain in effect for all vehicle owners.

For more information, visit http://onlinemvd.dor.ga.gov/TAP/faqs.aspx.