New car title tax goes into effect March 1 - Fox 2 News Headlines

New car title tax goes into effect March 1

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If you recently bought a car or plan to any time soon, a new law going into effect on Friday could apply to you. The new law gradually gets rid of the widely disliked "birthday tax "on cars, but imposes a car title fee.

The change involves a lot of moving parts and many people are just learning about it.

County tag offices expect delays in cranking up the new system.

"Be patient and give it time, my people are doing the best they can and we will give everybody our best shot," said Brent Bennett, director of vehicle registrations in DeKalb County. "We're well-prepared here."

Beginning Friday, when you buy a new or used car you'll no longer pay sales tax and then the annual birthday tax. Instead, you'll pay a one-time title transfer tax equal to about 6.5 percent of the car's value.

Drivers who got their cars before 2012 will still pay the birthday tax.

"So for those people who held a car or owned a car before January 1 of 2012, don't throw away that ad valorem bill, you still have to pay it," said Georgia Department of Revenue Commissioner Douglas MacGinnitie . "Until you sell the car, you're on the old system."

On FOX 5's Good Day Atlanta, MacGinnitie said if you buy a car from an individual -- a so-called "casual sale" -- you will have to pay the title tax.

"You're going to owe that 6.5 percent of the value of the vehicle when you go to the county tag office to get your new title, so make sure you factor that cost in," MacGinnitie said.

Also, if you bought a car after January 2012, you have a choice of paying the one-time tax or continuing with the birthday tax, but you don't have to make that decision immediately.

To calculate the cost of how much you could pay in car taxes, and a comparison of fees under the new and old system, go to

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