There are some new procedures and services at the tax commissioner’s office.

One of the changes is that handicapped parking placards must now be picked up at the tax commissioner’s office. Previously, the placards, which hang from rear view mirrors and allow drivers to park in handicapped disabled parking spaces, were available through the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services. Now the placards must be obtained at the same place as license plates and tags.

Red six-month temporary placards and blue two-year placards are available. The temporary tags are for conditions such as pregnancy or a broken leg that only hamper a person for a short period of time. The two-year placards are for more long-term disabilities.

Drivers need a notarized MV-9D form from their doctor in order to qualify for the placards. Drivers may have only one placard.

The placards are hung from the rear view mirror but should only be displayed while parked. The placards should be removed when a car is in motion.

“They’ll hinder your eyesight,” said Tift County Tax Commissioner Gene Goode.

Beginning Jan. 1, another change will happen at the tax office. People who purchase a vehicle from a dealership or company in another state must now pay sales tax on those vehicles before they can purchase a tag for it.

“We’re gonna collect sales tax on all cars bought outside the state,” Goode said.

Previously, if someone bought a vehicle from a company or dealership in another state and did not pay sales tax, then they would receive a tax request from the state after purchasing their tag. Now, owners will have to pay the sales tax before they can get the tag.

“It’s just up-front,” Goode said. “They don’t wait.”

Owners will be given credit if they paid sales tax in the state of purchase, but if the local sales tax, currently seven percent, is higher, the owner must pay the difference. No refunds will be given if the owner paid a higher sales tax in the other state.

Purchases made in Georgia and purchases from individuals are unaffected by the new law.

A valid bill of sale or contract of purchase can be used to show that sales tax were paid on a vehicle.

To contact reporter Dusty Vassey, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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