Politics & Government

Three new Georgia laws for 2019 could affect your wallet

The Telegraph

As the new session of the Georgia Legislature gets underway, a few of the laws they passed last year are just now coming into effect. They could affect your wallet.

Sales Tax

Attention online shoppers: Georgia’s getting serious about collecting sales tax on things sold here by out-of-state internet retailers. Vendors that have a physical presence in Georgia, like Amazon, already collect that sales tax and send it back to the state and counties. As of Jan. 1, Georgia is making it clear that retailers that have at least 200 sales in Georgia or $250,000 in revenue here have to collect and remit sales tax; or send a notice to customers who spend more than $500, telling them to pay up. Georgia lawmakers put the rule on the books as the U.S. Supreme Court was considering whether states could even enforce sales tax collections on out-of-state companies. The court later ruled that states can, indeed, do that.

New income tax rate

But Georgia income taxes that you rack up in 2019 will probably be a little smaller than the bill you’re about to pay. In 2018, just in time to cheer people up before elections, state lawmakers approved a cut to the top rate of state income tax from 6 percent to 5.75 percent. Most Georgia taxpayers are already in that top tier. The cut also applies to Georgia’s corporate income tax rate. And the standard deduction for individuals and married folks filing together goes up, to a maximum $6,000. However, actions in Washington, D.C. that cut some deductions from federal taxes may mean a wash for some taxpayers.

Autism coverage

Georgia insurers will cover treatment for many more young people who have autism in 2019. Starting Jan. 1, insurers must now cover services of up to $35,000 annually for people aged 20 or younger who have autism spectrum disorders. The old law covered only people aged six and under, and only required up to $30,000 in annual spending.

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Legislative reporter Maggie Lee began covering the state Capitol in Atlanta for The Telegraph in 2011.