The Union Recorder

Local News

March 18, 2013

Title tax changes challenge



Under the clean up bill the greater of the new car’s retail selling price or the value determined by Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) assessment manual sets fair market value. Previously, it was just the manual listing.

Settle anticipated logistical problems with the change. Her prediction came true.

“Right now, we don’t have the capability of putting in the higher of the two,” Settle said.

County tax offices are struggling to keep up. 

“You can prepare, train and program all you want to, but there are going to be issues that you just don’t think about it. It’s been hectic,” Settle said. “It’s been about 10 years since we implemented the last major piece of legislation, so you forget how bad it can be.”

Most of the technical issues stem from glitches in the Georgia Registration and Title Information System (GRATIS) when people want to opt-in to the TAVT. Some transactions require manual GRATIS input for automobiles not in the database, which adds processing time. 

As of this Wednesday, the tax commissioner’s office processed 200 opt-ins. Around 70 people were eligible to change but didn’t.

“There are about 300 to 400 people that can opt-in each month. We are asking people to at least wait until your birth month to come and opt-in. To keep the lines from being so long it would be better for them to wait,” Settle said.

Those eligible for the TAVT that wait until after their birthday to switch are still required to pay the old ad valorem tax attached on that earlier date.

Explaining the pros and cons of joining the TAVT system takes time. The tax office is working to streamline the brand new procedure.

“The wait line for every transaction is definitely longer now,” the tax commissioner said. “We are trying to make it as easy as possible for everyone.”

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