As you make plans to vote early, many have questions about the four proposed constitutional amendments at the bottom of the ballot. The amendments are awkwardly worded and lack clarity. Rep. Teri Anulewicz, who faces no opposition this cycle, has outlined the amendments and shared how she plans to vote. You may read her commentary below:
Constitutional Amendment 1: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to suspend the compensation of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, or any member of the General Assembly while such individual is suspended from office following indictment for a felony?”
- This measure allows the state government to suspend the salary of the listed elected officials if they are indicted for a felony. Should the official later be cleared of wrongdoing by a court or jury, they will receive all back pay due to them. I will vote YES.
Constitutional Amendment 2: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the governing authority of each county, municipality, and consolidated government and the board of education of each independent and county school system in this state shall be authorized to grant temporary tax relief to properties within its jurisdiction which are severely damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster and located within a nationally declared disaster area?”
- This amendment allows any authority that assesses property taxes (which includes county, municipal, and school boards) temporarily to suspend collection of property taxes for any property located within a nationally declared disaster area that is seriously damaged by a natural disaster such as a hurricane, wildfire, or tornado. This means that property owners would not have to pay taxes on a home or business that has been seriously damaged or destroyed as a result of the disaster. I will vote YES.
Tax Question 1: “Shall the Act be approved which expands a state-wide exemption from ad valorem taxes for agricultural equipment and certain farm products held by certain entities to include entities comprising two or more family owned farm entities, and which adds dairy products and unfertilized eggs of poultry as qualified farm products with respect to such exemption?”
- The measure expands the definition of “family owned farm entity” to include entities that comprise a merger or consolidation of enterprises that independently qualify as “family owned farm entities.” The measure also adds dairy and egg products to the list of products that qualified family farms may exempt from ad valorem taxes. I will vote YES.
Tax Question 2: “Shall the Act be approved which grants a state-wide exemption from all ad valorem taxes for certain equipment used by timber producers in the production or harvest of timber?”
- This exemption for equipment used in timber production and harvest would essentially treat timber equipment the same as other agricultural equipment in exempting it from ad valorem taxes. I will vote YES.