TAG Capitol Update: April 2015

April 2015


 TAG CAPITOL UPDATE          Technology: Where Georgia Leads

Thank You


It has been a great year for technology here in Georgia. TAG is grateful to have a dedicated and hard working Government Relations Task Force who guides us to make Georgia a leading state for technology. Thank you to the Georgia legislative body for the countless hours and work you do to better our state. 




HB 439: Georiga New Markets Jobs Act & Invest Georgia Funds Adopted 


This bill was shaped after the federal program and neighboring states are utilizing the program with an 8 to 1 return on investment. The $100 million program, capped at $4 million per project is an effort to attract investments. The credits are issued three years after the investment and are primarily for new market businesses and lower-income communities. In fact, 25% must go to rural low-income areas. A Senate amendment added appropriations for the Invest Georgia, which passed in 2013. The fund provides access to seed capital and mentorship for Georgia's growing high-tech and innovation companies. The bill is authorized to sell up to $55 million of tax credits to qualified taxpayers. The funds are overseen by a board who select a third party fiduciary agent that appoints VC funds to manage investment activities. 


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SB 89: Digital Classroom Act and Student Data Privacy Act Adopted


SB 89 was first introduced in the Senate at the beginning of February 2015. The bill mandated that all schools in Georgia switch from traditional textbooks to digital devices by July of 2020. The mandating requirement made the bill unfavorable by most of the Senate, thus the term was removed and the bill took on a more voluntary opportunity for schools to switch to digital devices if they so choose. HB 414 was attached to SB 89, which essentially ensures that student data is safeguarded and that students' and parents' privacy is honored. On Sine Die Day the House passed SB 89 as amended and was later agreed to by the senate. The bill now moves to the governor's office for adoption. 


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HB 339: Video Game & Digital Production Income Tax Credit Extension Adopted


Georgia is an emerging hot spot in the high-tech digital media and interactive entertainment industry and is poised as a global center of excellence. Video game and digital media are significant elements of the creative cluster for Georgia and is growing at a remarkable rate. HB 339 video game and digital production income tax credit allows these companies to grow and stay in Georgia. The bill authorizes a $12.5 million annual cap and the maximum allowable credit claimed per company shall not exceed $1.5 million in any single year. HB 339 passed by Senate substitute and on Sine Die Day the House agreed to the substitute. The bill now moves to the governor's office for adoption.



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Uber & Lyft Regulations Adopted 


HB 225 passed/adopted by the Senate substitute and the house agreed to the amendment. The bill regulates the app-based transportation industry such as Uber & Lyft to meet taxi and limousine company standards. The bill was supported by the ride-sharing industry that allows them to conduct their own private background checks for drivers and requires companies to either pay state sales taxes or an annual fee for each vehicle in its network. HB 190 was passed/adopted by the Senate substitute and the House agreed to the amendment. This bill aims to increase regulations regarding insurance liability coverage for the ride-sharing industry. Both of these bills were worked on and supported by the ride-sharing industry.





Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act


To prevent discriminatory and duplicative taxes on digital goods and services, legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate. Digital goods and services includes online downloads of music, literature, movies, mobile apps, and cloud computing services. These bills were sponsored in the House by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and in the Senate by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) & Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). This legislation would restrict collection of sales taxes on digital goods and services to the jurisdiction of the buyer’s tax address. It also would bar a state from imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on the sale or use of digital goods or services. 





In This Issue


HB 439: Georgia New Markets Jobs Act & Invest Georgia Funds Adopted

SB 89: Digital Classroom Act and Student Data Privacy Act Adopted

HB 339: Video Game and Digital Production Income Tax Credit Extension Adopted

Uber & Lyft Regulations Adopted


Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act


TAG Capitol Contacts

Tino Mantella

President & CEO
(404) 920 - 2027

Heather Maxfield
Vice President, Government Relations & Statewide
(404) 920 - 2022

Joseph Santoro
Director of External Affairs
(404) 526 - 6049




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