Sweeping changes were approved in last year’s House Bill 386 that exempt inputs used in agricultural production from Georgia sales tax collections. For certified producers or farmers this means most of the items they buy to use in agricultural production will be sales tax exempt beginning in 2013.
To help local producers prepare for these changes, the Wilkes County Cattlemen’s Association is hosting an informational meeting on Thursday, Oct. 18 beginning at 7 p.m. Representative Tom McCall, chairman of the House Ag Committee, will share his knowledge of the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption Program (GATE) and how the program will be implemented in 2013. The meeting will be held at the McGill-Woodruff Ag Center in Washington, Ga.
A couple of weeks ago, the Georgia Department of Agriculture released rules regarding the GATE program and will accept comment through Oct. 26. In order to qualify for these exemptions, agricultural producers will be required to obtain a certificate from the department.
An application has not yet been posted, and the consensus from most agricultural leaders is that the application should be available by mid-November. Producers should have four to six weeks to complete the application process and become certified in order to take advantage of the exemptions in January.
To learn more about how these exemptions can have a positive impact a producer’s bottom line, register for the class by calling the Wilkes County Extension Office at (706) 678-2332 by noon on Wednesday, Oct. 17. A meal will be provided, but a $5 contribution to the Wilkes County Cattlemen’s Association is required.