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County Officials Prepared for Tax Change on Auto Sales

In Gwinnett, the "birthday tax" ends March 1 for car buyers, and a "title tax" takes effect.

Although other counties may be making special preparations, Gwinnett County tax officials say they are prepared for the coming tax change on auto sales.

"We don't think we'll have a big problem" handling the routine of the new "title tax" that takes effect March 1, said Paula Martin of the Gwinnett tax commissioners office.

On that date, the annual "birthday tax" expires for state vehicle owners who purchase a new vehicle. It means that people purchasing a vehicle will pay a one-time "title tax" -- 6.5 percent in 2013 -- as opposed to the annual ad valorem tax that is due on the vehicle owner's birthday.

-- How do you feel about the new vehicle "title tax"? Will it change your car buying decision? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

It applies to purchases from dealers as well as deals between individuals.

WSB-TV has reported that the state Department of Revenue is recommending the added security measures over concerns that customers will become frustrated over increased wait times as tag office clerks deal with the new law’s requirements.

"I don't think we're going to need" extra security, Martin added, noting that Gwinnett officials have been preparing for the change since HB 386 became law last year.

The new law requires that someone buying a vehicle pay a 6.5 percent "title tax," which is based on the vehicle's fair market value, not the sales price. Martin noted that someone buying a car from a dealer can choose to pay the fee at the dealer.

However, someone buying a car from another individual would have to pay the one-time fee at a Gwinnett tag office to have it titled.

The annual "birthday tax" still applies for cars that you currently own. Also, the annual tag renewal fee still holds for ALL vehicles.

The "title tax" rises to 6.75 percent in 2014, according to the Gwinnett tax commissioner's website.

Anyone seeking more information, or wishing to calculate how the "title tax"  would apply to them, can visit tax commissioner's website.

Related content:

  • Title Tax on New Georgia Vehicles Goes in Effect March 2013

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