(The Center Square) – Georgia voters will decide whether to exempt certain farmers from tax under a bill signed by Governor Brian Kemp on Friday.

House bill 498 Georgia voters will vote in the November 2022 election whether or not family businesses that are partnering may have the same farm equipment tax exemption that they qualified for prior to the merger.

“There is no generation business more than a family farm. Marty and I know how important small businesses are to the Georgian economy, and that is what the Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Agribusiness Council fight for every day at the Capitol,” said Kemp during a bill signing at Georgia Farm Bureau in Macon.

Voters would also have to approve adding dairy products and unfertilized poultry eggs to the list of agricultural products that are tax-exempt. HB 498 also exempts sales and use tax for out of state transactions in mechanically powered watercraft by dealers in Georgia.

The bill is one of eight agricultural bills Kemp signed at the Georgia Farm Bureau on Friday.

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Kemp also signed House bill 336, This complies with Georgia’s hemp laws and federal standards, increases the requirements for guarantees and prohibits the cultivation of hemp in residential areas.

The law requires potential hemp producers or processors to be fingerprinted for a background check once they receive an application. The Georgia Department of Agriculture must send the fingerprints to the FBI on HB 336.

The bill keeps processors filing fee at $ 25,000 instead of the planned increase of $ 50,000, but increases processors’ guarantee from $ 100,000 to $ 300,000.

A group of about 100 Georgia agriculture and forestry leaders attended the law ceremony on Friday, applauding Kemp’s support for the move.

According to the Georgian Ministry of Economic Development, agriculture is the leading industry in Georgia, with an economic impact of more than $ 74 billion a year. State officials said Georgia had 9.9 million acres of farmland.

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