The Georgia Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption certificate, or GATE, which Georgia farmers must have to receive sales tax exemptions on farm input materials effective Jan. 1, 2013.
GATE applications may be completed online at www.agr.georgia.gov or downloaded and mailed to the GDA. There is a $20 fee to process applications online that may be made paid with Visa or MasterCard and a $25 fee for mailed applications that may be paid with a personal check made payable to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Printed applications for mailing to the GDA are available at most county Farm Bureau offices.
Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom McCall and Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall launched the signup for the GATE certificate during a press conference Nov. 15 in Macon.
"I encourage farmers to apply for the GATE certificate immediately so they can receive the tax exemptions when they go into effect the first of the year," GFB President Duvall said. "Georgia Farm Bureau worked hard to educate our state officials about the importance of having these sales tax exemptions as the GATE program will help Georgia farmers remain competitive."
GATE, which was created by Georgia House Bill 386 earlier this year, offers qualified ag producers a sales tax exemption on ag equipment and most materials used to produce ag products. The new GATE certificate replaces the Agricultural Certificate of Exemption, or ST-A1, form producers currently use to receive existing sales tax exemptions.
To qualify for a GATE certificate an applicant must meet one of the following qualifications:
1) Produce a minimum of $2,500 of ag products annually,
2) Provide a minimum of $2,500 worth of agricultural services annually,
3) Maintain orchards, timber or other multi-year products with long-term capacity to produce $2,500 annually, or
4) Own property that qualifies for the Conservation Use Value Assessment or Forestland Protection Act
HB 386 broadens the sales tax exemptions for ag inputs by including equipment parts, energy used in producing ag products and other inputs which were previously not exempt.