ATLANTA (February 24, 2016) | The Georgia Senate passed legislation today that will dedicate the proceeds of the excise tax on fireworks to local public safety initiatives, if approved by voter referendum. Senate Bill 350 sets the revenue allocation amounts for specific trauma care and firefighter training initiatives, while Senate Resolution 558 is the companion legislation that enacts the legislation through a proposed constitutional amendment. Sen. Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga) is the sponsor of both bills.
“Senate Bill 350 and Senate Resolution 558 will create a critical funding mechanism for Georgia’s trauma care and fire response networks. We need properly trained personnel, advanced equipment and effective response plans in order to achieve the highest quality of public safety in Georgia,” said Sen. Mullis.
Senate Bill 350 would distribute the proceeds from the excise taxes imposed on the sale of consumer fireworks towards three local government public safety purposes. The Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission would receive 55 percent of the revenue for infrastructure improvement and growth. The Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council would receive 40 percent of the revenue for improving training procedures and the rating of Georgia fire departments by the Insurance Services Office. Lastly, five percent will go towards local governments where consumer fireworks are sold; however, this revenue must be used for public safety purposes. Senate Bill 350 passed by a vote of 52 to 2.
Senate Resolution 558 is the constitutional amendment that must be approved by Georgia voters in order to enact the provisions of Senate Bill 350. The resolution also clarifies that the revenues deposited under Senate Bill 350 will not be subject to the constitutional requirement that all funds received by the state are deposited into the general fund. Senate Resolution 558 also passed by a vote of 52 to 2.
The bills now transfer to the House of Representatives for consideration.
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For Immediate Release:
February 24, 2016
For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Director