Georgia lawmakers pass new internet sales tax bill


This new bill is targeted toward sites or apps like Uber, Lyft or even Airbnb. That means if you use those, your fees might be on the rise. (Image: WTVC)

A new internet sales tax in Georgia is one step away from being reality.

All that is left is for Governor Kemp to sign off on it, but it may affect some of the popular luxuries you depend on every day.

This new bill is targeted toward sites or apps like Uber, Lyft or even Airbnb. That means if you use those, your fees might be on the rise.

Haley Hulvey is a fan of finding cool vacation rentals through Airbnb. It is something she has been doing for the last six months.

“Sometimes it’s cheaper than staying at a hotel and some places are cooler,” the Ringgold resident said.

But the price for her to close on those deals when she uses the website might be going up, thanks to the pending internet sales tax in Georgia.

“See how much extra it’s going to be because I’m like, if it’s a lot extra, it’s not worth it,” Hulvey said.

State lawmakers agreed to the deal Thursday. It is called the “marketplace facilitator bill,” collecting sales taxes on sites or apps from housing rentals to ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

“If it’s not going to be a big difference, then I’ll go and pay for it anyway,” said Chatsworth resident Chris Smith.

Smith has been using Lyft for two years around Chatsworth and knows he might be paying more out of pocket.

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“If it’s a lot more than no,” he said Friday afternoon. “I’ll probably just hang out somewhere for a while or just stay where I am.”

Some Georgia lawmakers expect this new bill to produce at least $150 million in new tax revenue that can relieve pressure on income and property taxes.

Ride-sharing company Uber worries its customers may see jacked up prices for their rides and less money for drivers.

In a statement, a spokeswoman fears Georgians will “end up paying one of the highest rideshare taxes in the country if a reasonable fee structure is not put in place.”

At least two Georgia residents are not caught off guard with the proposed bill.

“A lot of taxes are going up on everything I feel like,” Hulvey said.

“They’re trying to tax anything that’s more automated or more friendly for everybody else I feel like lately,” Smith said.

If Governor Kemp signs off on this bill, it will go into effect April 1.

As lawmakers worked on the bill, they said more than 30 other states already have a similar tax in place.



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