Legislative Bulletin

Every effort has been made to be accurate and complete in our descriptions of the contents of each act, but we caution you to rely solely on the acts themselves and not on the summaries in this or any report. Seek appropriate counsel when needed.

HB 211 - Homestead Exemption Increase

Rep. Beth Beskin (Atlanta)

This bill would increase the Homestead Exemption annual credit from $2,000 to $2,500 in certain areas. A taxpayer would be eligible for this credit if that individual owns, and occupies, a home located within the district of an elementary school that is within the lowest 5% of academic achievement as defined by Department of Education and/or Office of Student Achievement.

Status: House Ways and Means Committee


HB 302 - Millage Rate Notice

Rep. Randy Nix (LaGrange)

This bill seeks to modify the current notice format by deleting the heading “PROPERTY TAX INCREASE” and replacing it with a new heading that states “PROPOSED MILLAGE RATE.”  This bill would also remove other instances within the current notice format that specifically state ‘property tax increase’ and insert ‘the proposed millage rate.’

Status: House Ways and Means Committee


HB 456 - Executory Contracts

Rep. Debra Bazemore (Riverdale)

This bill would establish necessary language for all executory contracts centered upon the sale of real property.  The language is as follows: “THIS IS AN EXECUTORY CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF REAL PROPERTY. FOR THE DURATION OF THIS CONTRACT THE SELLER REMAINS THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY. YOUR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT MAY RESULT IN THE SELLER’S RIGHT TO TAKE POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY BEFORE YOUR FINAL PAYMENT AND THE CONVEYANCE OF THE DEED” in bold 14pt type.  The bill also defines language to be used by the buyer to back out of the contract within 14 days and the statement required by the seller to take possession of the property if a buyer fails to meet the outlined requirements.

Status: House Judiciary Committee


HB 203 - Condo Breach of Restrictive Covenants

Rep. Brian Strickland (McDonough)

This bill would affect a condo’s ability to extend the existing covenants to include expansions and additions to the development.

Status: House - PASSED; Senate Judiciary Committee


HB 436 - Disputed County Territory

Rep. Robert Dickey (Musella)

This bill would require taxes collected from a disputed area between two counties to be placed in an escrow account until the boundary line issue is resolved.

Status: House Judiciary Committee


HB 459 - Buyer’s Agents, Brokers, Appraisers

Rep. Sam Teasley (Marietta)

This bill would allow for a buyer to have their own real estate agent, broker, and/or appraiser present to view a property.  If the buyer is forbidden to do so, then the contract is void and unenforceable.

Status: House Judiciary Committee


SB 119 - Fair Housing

Sen. Lester Jackson (Savannah)

This bill amends current fair housing law by adding ‘sexual orientation, gender identity’ to the existing list of protected classes.

Status: Senate Judiciary Committee


SB 162 - Eminent Domain

Sen. Frank Ginn (Danielsville)

This bill would provide that a city, state, municipality pay additional court costs and fees to a property owner when a final award for condemnation is at least 10% greater than the highest offer initially made by the condemnor.

Status: Senate Judiciary Committee


HB 876 - Local Government Prohibition of Construction Materials New

Rep. John Corbett (Lake Park)

This bill would preclude a local government from adopting an ordinance to prohibit the use of wood in new construction.

Status: House - PASSED


HB 27 - Foreclosure Debt Repayment

Rep. Billy Mitchell (Stone Mountain)

This bill seeks to provide the opportunity to an individual to pay all past payments, fees, charges, etc.  Prior to foreclosure, a debtor could bring the debt current by making all past due payments, fees, charges, etc. to the creditor up to five days before the sale of the property.

Status: House Judiciary Committee


HB 55 - Term Limits for Licensing Board Members

Rep. Rick Williams (Milledgeville)

This bill provides restrictions for any member of any Georgia professional licensing board to be limited to eight consecutive years on that board.

Status: House Regulated Industries Committee


HB 59 - Historic Tax Credit Provisions

Rep. Ron Stephens (Savannah)

This bill revises the tax credit structure established for the rehabilitation of historic structures.  The $5 million dollar cap per year per individual certified structure is removed.  The prohibition of multiple applications over 120 months is removed.  Resale of gifted and/or purchased tax credits for an individual certified structure will now be permitted.

Status: House - PASSED; Senate Finance Committee


HB 66 - Wire Transfer Fee

Rep. Jeff Jones (Brunswick)

This bill seeks to apply a fee to wire transferring of out-of-state funds. A Georgia citizen would be reimbursed the fee on their taxes at year’s end.  This bill would exempt certain transactions, but does not currently provide an exemption for real estate transactions.

Status: House Ways and Means Committee


SB 299 - Real Estate Filings in Superior Court

Sen. Frank Ginn (Danielsville)

This bill would require an attorney for all real estate related filings with Superior Court.

Status: Senate Judiciary Committee


HB 85 - Forest Land Fair Market Value

Rep. Jay Powell (Camilla)

This bill would amend the appraisal process for forest land conservation values and establish a data bank.
If passed, this act would not become effective until January 1, 2019.

Status: House - PASSED; Senate Finance Committee


HB 89 - Income Tax Credit for Emerging Businesses

Rep Dar’shun Kendrick (Lithonia)

This bill would provide additional income tax credits to certain small businesses in emerging markets and technology.

Status: House Ways and Means Committee


HB 897 - Uniform Power of Attorney Act

Rep. Chuck Efstration (Dacula)

The Uniform Power of Attorney Act would update Georgia’s power of attorney laws to aid in combating elder abuse.

Status: House Judiciary Committee Favorably Reported


HR 51 - Forest Land Fair Market Value New

Rep. Jay Powell (Camilla)

This resolution proposes the constitutional amendment necessary to implement the changes as described within HB 85 which seeks to provide a sales data bank and would amend the appraisal process for forest land conservation values.

Status: House - PASSED; Senate Finance Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute


SB 2 - FAST Act

Sen. Mike Dugan (Carrollton)

This bill seeks to reduce regulatory burdens by publishing a timeline and any expediting fees for business licenses and certain permits.  A 10% reduction of the fee would be assessed if the timeline is not met.  Expedited processing of a license could be requested with a fee of up to twice the original cost assessed by the municipality.  Provisional licenses would be granted to individuals from states with guidelines similar to those of Georgia while the review process is being conducted.  The Department of Community Affairs would provide a transparency score for all municipalities.

Status: Senate - PASSED; House Small Business Development Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute


SB 22 - Campaign Contribution Restrictions

Sen. Josh McKoon (Columbus)

This bill restricts campaign contributions by prohibiting any company that receives more than $50,000 in contracts annually with state or local agencies from making any contribution to a candidate for the office responsible for awarding those contracts.  This includes pending contracts, as well.

Status: Senate Ethics Committee


SB 27 - Property Condemnation Compensation

Sen. Josh McKoon (Columbus)

This bill provides an additional avenue to recovery of expenses upon appeal of property condemnation for transportation purposes.  A judgment in favor of the condemnee’s appeal would now include the additional sum of attorney’s fees, expenses of litigation, investigation expenses, expert witness fees, and other expenses which relate to the preparation for trial upon the judgment in favor of the condemnee.

Status: Senate Transportation Committee


HB 204 - Property Tax & Non-Tax Fees

Rep. Brett Harrell (Snellville)

This bill would create a separation of property tax bills from any other nontax related fees or assessments.  Storm-water service fees and solid waste service fees are examples of such fees, but the bill is not limited to these examples.  Multiple billings in the same mailing would be permitted.

Status: House - PASSED; Senate Finance Committee


HB 271 - Shoreline Protection

Rep. Jesse Petrea (Savannah)

This bill revises the Shore Protection Act of 1979.  Currently, structures built before 1979 and 20ft tall trees are used to outline protected areas.  This creates an extremely cumbersome explanation of ‘protected’ and non-protected areas that can change regularly based on the removal/addition of trees. New conditional options will include a 25ft buffer line from the most inward sand dune, a shoreline project, or ordinary high water mark.

Status: House - PASSED; Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee


HB 281 - Georgia Tenant Protection Act

Rep. Scott Holcomb (Atlanta)

This bill seeks to provide the ability for an individual to break a lease in cases of domestic violence, stalking, and harassment.  With the signature of a qualified third party as defined, an individual would be able to immediate terminate an existing lease. The defined qualified third party are: law enforcement, health care providers, employees of a court of the state, licensed mental health professionals, employees of any victim assistance program, and members of the clergy.

Status: House Judiciary Committee


HB 410 - HOA Letter Fees

Rep. Alan Powell (Hartwell)

This bill would establish a comprehensive list of what is to be included in a statement of account when requested from an HOA.  It also establishes a maximum fee that could be charged for the production of the statement of account and also establishes a maximum fee for any request with an expediting of less than 3 days.  Under the most recent committee substitute, the fee is $250 for the statement of account and $50 for expediting.

Status: House Judiciary Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute


HB 325 - Property Tax – Income Approach

Rep. Ron Stephens (Savannah)

This bill seeks to give the property owner an option to supply actual income and expense data to be considered in determining the fair market value of income producing property.  Currently, if that data is available, it is automatically considered.

Status: House - PASSED; Senate Finance Committee


SB 159 - Purple Paint

Sen. Lee Anderson (Grovetown)

This bill would allow purple paint added to trees and/or posts to be used to identify private property and deter criminal trespass.  The purple paint would be required to be a vertical marking of at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide.  On forested land, purple paint markings would be required to be at least every 100 feet.  On non-forested land, the paint markings would be at least every 1,000 feet.

Status: Senate - PASSED; House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee


HB 194 - Zoning and School Systems

Rep. Todd Jones (South Forsyth)

Currently, local governments may consider the local system in a zoning request. This bill will make that consideration mandatory.

Status: House Government Affairs Committee


HB 381 - Abandoned Mobile Home Act

Rep. John Corbett (Lake Park)

This bill defines ‘Abandoned mobile home’ as a mobile home that has been left vacant by all tenants for at least 90 days without notice to the landowner and there is evidence of: Failure to pay rent or fees for 90 days; Removal of most or all personal belongings; Cancellation of insurance; Termination of utility services; or a risk to public health, safety, welfare, or the environment.  At the request of a landowner, a mobile home can be inspected by an appointed local government official to determine the state of the mobile home as ‘intact’ or ‘derelict’ and the landowner can proceed to place a lien on an ‘intact’ mobile home or remove a ‘derelict’ mobile home.  Procedures, via the local magistrate court, are provided.

Status: House - PASSED; Senate Judiciary Committee


HB 397 - Extension of Homestead Exemption for Health Purposes

Rep. Dale Rutledge (McDonough)

This bill would provide additional health reasons for extended absence from a homestead exemption property.  Stays in a nursing home or assisted living facility would no longer present a potential loss of the homestead exemption.

Status: House Ways and Means Committee


SB 116 - Storm Water Utility Fees

Sen. Frank Ginn (Danielsville)

This bill would exempt a property that is deemed ‘water neutral’ by a professional engineer from any fees regarding storm-water collection and/or disposal.  No local governments, county or city, would be allowed to impose these fees.  The property owner would be responsible for providing proof from the engineer.

Status: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee


SB 120 - Recording of Property Deeds

Sen. William Ligon (Brunswick)

This bill permits the use of existing records that are unattested or properly acknowledged to serve as a deed once a 4-year period has passed.

Status: Senate Judiciary Committee


SB 167 - Disabled Veterans – Homestead Exemption

Sen. Hunter Hill (Atlanta)

This bill would increase the minimum threshold for disabled veterans homestead exemption. The increase would be from $33,500 to $77,300.  If the disabled veteran has legal residency in his or her child’s home, then the child of the veteran would be eligible for the homestead exemption.

Status: Senate Finance Committee


HB 579 - Short Term Rentals

Rep. Matt Dollar (Marietta)

This bill seeks to provide that local governments cannot ban or excessively regulate short-term and vacation rentals.

Status: House Regulated Industries Committee


SB 426 - Rural Broadband

Sen. Steve Gooch (Dahlonega)

This bill would establish the “Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development (BILD) Act” aimed at limiting the ability of local governing authorities to prohibit, regulate, or charge for use of public rights of way as it relates to broadband.

Status: Senate Regulated Industries Committee


SB 402 - Rural Broadband

Sen. Steve Gooch (Dahlonega)

This bill would establish the “Achieving Connectivity Everywhere (ACE) Act” aimed at providing for broadband services planning, deployment, and incentives.  It also authorizes the Department of Transportation to take certain actions to enable the rights of way of interstate highways to be used for the deployment of broadband and other communications technologies.

Status: Senate Regulated Industries Committee


SB 232 - Rural Broadband

Sen. Steve Gooch (Dahlonega)

This bill would establish the “Facilitating Internet Broadband Rural Expansion (FIBRE) Act.”  This Act aims to provide for broadband service planning, deployment, and incentives and the creation of the Georgia Gigabit Ready Community Site Designation Program by the Department of Economic Development.

Status: Senate Regulated Industries Committee


HB 661 - Tax Liens

Rep. Bruce Williamson (Monroe)

This bill revises current law pertaining to electronic record keeping and filing of state tax liens to address unintended issues of the State Tax Execution Modernization Act of 2017.

Status: House - PASSED; Senate - PASSED


HB 745 - Termination of Lease Due to Family Violence

Rep. Scott Holcomb (Atlanta)

This bill would permit a tenant, who is a victim of family violence, to terminate a lease, effective 30 days from supplying the landlord with a judicial order pertaining to the family violence and establishing the residential property as the nexus for the violence.

Status: House Judiciary Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute


HB 676 - Foreclosure Protection

Rep. Paulette Rakestraw (Hiram)

This bill would provide certain foreclosure protections for active duty service members.

Status: House Banks & Banking Committee


HB 677 - Homestead Exemption

Rep. Paulette Rakestraw (Hiram)

This bill would provide a homestead exemption for deployed service members.

Status: House Ways and Means Committee


HB 704 - Construction Waste

Rep. Michael Caldwell (Woodstock)

This bill states that a cause of action for trespass upon or damage to real property due to the burying of construction waste shall accrue when the trespass or damage is discovered.

Status: House Judiciary Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute


HB 834 - Termination of Lease Due to Family Violence

Rep. Mandi Ballinger (Canton)

This bill would permit a tenant who is a victim of family violence to terminate a lease, effective 30 days from supplying the landlord with a judicial order pertaining to the family violence and establishing the residential property as the nexus for the violence.

Status: House Judiciary Committee


HB 852 - Continued Enrollment in Public School

Rep. Michael Smith (Marietta)

This bill would permit a student to remain enrolled in and attend his/her current public school for the duration of the school year after having moved to another attendance zone within the same school system, provided that the student had attended the current public school for more than half of the school year prior to moving.

Status: House Education Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute


SB 397 - Government Sale of Real Property

Sen. Ben Watson (Savannah)

This bill allows a municipality to hire a state-licensed real estate broker to assist in the sale of real property.

Status: Senate State & Local Government Operations Committee


HB 775 - Appraisal Management Companies

Rep. Alan Powell (Hartwell)

This bill would provide several administrative adjustments to the Real Estate Appraisal Act so that GREAB would be in compliance with federal requirements relating to the regulation of appraisal management companies.

Status: House Regulated Industries Committee


HB 954 - Retaliatory Actions by Landlords

Rep. Scott Hilton (Peachtree Corners)

This bill would establish civil penalties for actions taken by a landlord against a tenant that are deemed retaliatory.

Status: House Judiciary Committee


SB 443 - Security Deposits New

Sen. Jesse Stone (Waynesboro)

This bill revises current landlord-tenant law relating to damage lists and security deposits.  It clarifies timeframes and terminology for itemizing damages related to the release of a security deposit.

Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute


HB 748 - Community Association Transparency and Protection Act New

Rep. William Boddie (East Point)

This bill requires developers to establish a reserve account upon inception of a community, establishes a timeframe in which the declarant must turn over the association to the owners, and creates a list of documentation that must be provided at turn-over.

Status: House Regulated Industries Committee


HB 860 - Social Hosting New

Rep. Emory Dunahoo (Gillsville)

This bill would expand criminal responsibility for willfully and wantonly providing alcohol to a minor.  Landlords of rental property are carved out.

Status: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee


HB 883 - Granting of Temporary Protective Orders New

Rep. Meagan Hanson (Brookhaven)

This bill would extend the time frame of ex parte temporary protective orders from 30 to 45 days.

Status: House Judiciary Committee


HB 904 - Recreation Property Use New

Rep. Meagan Hanson (Brookhaven)

This bill would extend protections to individuals admitted to an event free of charge the same protections afforded to paying patrons for events on which there is a fee charged.  This bill is a corrective measure to address an appellate ruling.

Status: House Judiciary Committee


SB 431 - Recreation Property Use New

Sen. Blake Tillery (Vidalia)

This bill would extend protections to individuals admitted to an event free of charge the same protections afforded to paying patrons for events on which there is a fee charged.  This bill is a corrective measure to address an appellate ruling.

Status: Senate Judiciary Committee


SB 404 - Water for Fire Sprinkler Systems New

Sen. Matt Brass (Newnan)

This bill would prevent a local jurisdiction from charging or assessing a fee for stand-by water service for a fire sprinkler system.

Status: Senate Natural Resources & the Environment Committee


SB 469 - Aesthetic Design Controls New

Sen. Matt Brass (Newnan)

This bill would prohibit local jurisdictions from implementing arbitrary restrictions on aesthetic architectural design.

Status: Senate State & Local Government Operations Committee