Gwinnett braces for ‘birthday tax' elimination

by: Tom Regan Updated:

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner told Channel 2 Action News he plans to hire additional workers to handle anticipated delays surrounding the elimination of vehicle ad valorem taxes next March.


"Our title transactions will be extended by five to 10 minutes, especially in the first year," said Gwinnett Tax Commissioner Richard Steele.

Steele told Channel 2's Tom Regan the delays will result in many questions on how the new title tax process works. Beginning March 1, 2013, all vehicle purchasers will pay a one-time title tax of 6.5 percent on the fair market of a vehicle. They will no longer pay an annual ad valorem tax.

Anyone who purchased a vehicle between January 1, 2012 and March 1, 2013, will have the option to convert to a one-time title tax payment or continue to pay the birthday ad valorem tax. Owners of vehicles purchased prior to January 2012 will continue to pay the ad valorem tax on the vehicle.

"We are going to have a lot of people coming in questioning whether it's better for them to opt into the title tax, or stay in the old ad valorem tax system," said Steele.

Drivers at one Gwinnett tag office were surprised to hear that the birthday
vehicle tax didn't apply to their car.

"That's unfair. That's not right," said driver Claudi Forrester.

The tax commissioner said they have not yet figured out the exact impact the elimination of ad valorem tax with have on title revenue collections next year.