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Lobbying group lays out legislative priorities for counties
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In late October, the Georgia Municipal Association, a lobbying group for the interests of Georgia cities, laid out several priorities for the 2015 session of the state General Assembly during a meeting with local government officials.

Last week, it was the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, a lobbying group for the interests of Georgia counties, that presented its agenda for the upcoming session during a meeting with officials from Hall and neighboring counties.

The ACCG’s top legislative priorities include increased funding for counties to implement new reforms to the juvenile justice system, changes to property tax administration and transportation funding.

ACCG is recommending that state lawmakers study funding and staffing for juvenile courts.

It also suggests moving the deadline for the submission of county tax digests from Aug. 1 to Sept. 1; authorize superior court clerks to investigate complaints against the state Board of Equalization, which handles tax appeals; and allow tax commissioners to send tax bills electronically to save on mailing costs.

With regard to transportation funding, the ACCG suggests increasing the state motor fuel tax to provide additional revenue to the Georgia Department of Transportation, as well as transferring additional revenue from this tax out of the general fund to specifically fund transportation projects.

Special purpose local option sales tax revenue has funded hundreds of millions of dollars in capital projects in Hall County.

The ACCG wants the law governing how this money can be spent to be amended to allow for a percentage of revenues to be held in reserve for unexpected emergency needs.

Hall County has scheduled a SPLOST vote for March. A public meeting to discuss potential projects to be funded is set for 5 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.

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