Floor Action in Both Chambers this Week
This week the House and Senate passed several bills of interest to our members.
Sub S / Partnership Taxation.
The Senate passed HB 149
by Rep. Bruce Williamson
(R-Monroe). The bill amends the Georgia tax code to provide S corporations and partnerships an election to pay their Georgia state business income taxes at the entity level, thereby restoring the full federal tax deduction for Georgia business income taxes as described in IRS Notice 2020-75
. The Senate vote clears the bill for the Governor’s consideration. GBA has supported the bill throughout the process.
Formerly Hemp / Now Medical Cannabis.
The House passed SB 195
by Sen. Jeff Mullis
(R-Chickamauga). The bill originally contained language to sync the state and federal rules governing the growing and processing of hemp. However, as similar hemp language is included in another bill that’s almost through the process, HB 336
by Rep. John Corbett
(R-Lake Park), the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee removed the hemp language from SB 195 and replaced it with language updating the rules around the growing and processing of medical marijuana. That language came from HB 645
by Rep. Micah Gravley
(R-Douglasville) that was unfavorably reported earlier in the week from the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. SB 195 now goes back to the Senate for either a vote to accept the House amendment or for a conference committee to be appointed. GBA is monitoring.
The House passed but the Senate has disagreed with changes made by the House Ways and Means Committee to SB 6
by Sen. John Albers
(R-Albers). The bill provides for independent economic analyses to be procured by the Office of Planning and Budget for certain tax benefits upon request by the chairpersons of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee. Among the changes added to the version that passed the House was language from SB 148
by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler
(R-Rome) that authorizes the creation of the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians and the Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure. Because the Bank Tax Credit is not well understood by many members, we track legislation like this should legislators choose to review that credit. The Senate will determine the next step for the bill; a conference committee may be appointed. GBA is monitoring.
Small Business Innovation.
The Senate passed HB 611
by Rep. Mike Cheokas
(R-Americus). The bill originally added three tiers to the definition of small businesses in Georgia based on number of employees. The Senate Finance Committee amended and reported the bill this week with language requiring state agencies to provide small businesses with non-confidential data upon request. Additional language added charges the Department of Economic Development to provide services to new businesses with promising innovations in products and services including technology. Next up is House consideration of the Senate changes. GBA is monitoring.
Downtown Development Authorities.
The Senate passed HB 161
by Rep. Jan Tankersley
(R-Statesboro). The bill removes a provision providing perpetual existence to downtown development authorities. The Senate vote clears the bill for the Governor’s consideration. GBA has been monitoring.