Amendment 4 – Removes the Fireworks Excise Tax Revenue from the General Fund and Elected Rep Oversight and places it directly into the hands of appointed commissions.
AMENDMENT 4 BALLOT LANGUAGE:
Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the proceeds of excise taxes on the sale of fireworks or consumer fireworks be dedicated to the funding of trauma care, firefighter equipping and training, and local public safety purposes?
Last year the General Assembly made the sale of fireworks lawful in Georgia. A 5% excise tax was placed on the sale of the fireworks.
The Georgia Constitution states in Article VII, Section III, Paragraph II: All revenue collected from taxes, fees, and assessments for state purposes, as authorized by revenue measures enacted by the General Assembly, is to be paid into the general fund of the state treasury.
This 5% tax is currently going into the general fund to be used as our elected representatives see best for our state’s needs.
Every year the General Assembly establishes a budget based on expected revenue into the general fund and our representatives approve the budget. This process allows our elected representatives the ability to review the budget to determine where the funds are most needed in the state and to make adjustments where appropriate. Currently the General Assembly already includes funding to trauma care and related public safety services in the budget and this is reviewed every year for need.
Revenue of the excise tax will be divided up in the following manner:
- 55% of revenue would go toward the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission
- 40% of revenue would go toward the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council. Specifically, the revenue would be used to fund a grant program for improving the equipment and training of Georgia firefighters.
- 5% of revenue would go toward local governments, to be used specifically for public safety purposes.
With this constitutional change, our representatives will lose the ability to ever use this tax revenue for any other purposes.