Happy Birthday Cupcakes

Taxes in GA: Ad Valorem Tax

Georgia is by all accounts a red state—owned and operated by Republicans. Republicans speak constantly about tax reduction. But what do they actually do about taxes in GA? This post provides one of two short examples.

Happy Birthday CupcakesThe Birthday Tax?

Once upon a time Georgia’s ad valorem tax on vehicles was paid annually on a sliding scale. The older the car, for example, the less you paid. As the tax was due during the month of your birthday, politician’s were accused of having a birthday tax. Or were they just cleverly marketing a new tax strategy that would bring in more revenue to the state? I suspect the latter.

Now, you pay 10 years worth of ad valorem tax when you purchase your vehicle. Dealerships conveniently (and sometimes without the buyer realizing it) just roll the tax over into financing if you are not paying cash for the vehicle. Most people do not pay cash for cars.1 Therefore, most people are financing their tax liability! I find this outrageous!

Since most people don’t keep their car for 10 years, they are paying taxes for a vehicle they no longer own. High marks for clever. Very clever!

And it gets worse. When we moved to GA, we had just purchased a new (and expensive) car in CA and had no idea about the newly restructured ad valorem tax in GA. We had just paid the tax on the vehicle in CA. Imagine our shock when Georgia told us our ad valorem tax approached $10,000! At first, we literally thought she was kidding. $10,000! Yeah, right! … What???!!! Yes, you read that right. We paid 10 years worth of tax on a car we will not own for 10 years.

I call this theft, not taxation. At best one would call it a hefty tax increase.

Thanks, GA politicians.


  1. The banks love this.