Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


The past year was a relatively quiet year for tax matters. The cases were varied and for the most part, either clarified some issues or covered procedural matters. In the area of real estate transfer taxes, the transfer tax is based on the net value of the conveyance (the purchase price less the outstanding indebtedness), when an existing mortgage or encumbrance remains after the transfer. In the ad valorem tax area, the cases dealt primarily with procedural matters concerning valuation. The court clarified the religious exemption by providing a "primary use of the property" test in cases in which religious property has a mixed use (religious and secular). The supreme court provided procedural guidelines for growing municipalities to increase their proportionate share of sales and use tax when efforts to renegotiate such shares failed. With respect to intangible taxes, the supreme court made retroactive a legislative amendment providing an exemption for stock of a foreign corporation with its principal headquarters located in Georgia. The hotel/motel tax, which provides many municipalities the means for funding public facilities relating to tourism, survived a constitutional attack.