New laws go into effect across Georgia

New laws go into effect across Georgia
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
Representative-Albany Winfred Dukes (Source: WALB)
Representative-Albany Winfred Dukes (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Several new laws went into effect on New Year's Day.

Drivers who lease will see a tax increase, dental hygienists can clean your teeth without a dentist being present, and Georgia's music industry will get a 15 percent tax incentive.

Representative Winfred Dukes, a big proponent of the tax incentive for the music industry, said the bill will be a game changer and it could create thousands of jobs.

More music projects and tours could be coming to Southwest Georgia with the new Music Investment Act.

"Same opportunity to move Georgia into the forefront into the music recording industry," explained Dukes.

Similar to the tax incentive that turned Atlanta into the Hollywood of the South.

House Bill 155 gives a 15 percent tax incentive to production companies with a live performance of $500,000, $250,000 for stand-alone scoring projects, and $100,000 for recorded music performances.

"People will come to Georgia and live, or what we are hoping is that we will develop people here in Georgia to take advantage of these opportunities," said Dukes.

And he believes it could change the entire industry.

House Bill 154 allows dental hygienists to work outside of a dentist office to offer basic cleaning care.

"You couldn't see a dentist setting up shop in Baker County, but you could see a dental hygienist there," said Dukes.

The dental hygienist would operate under the general supervision of a dentist.

This law would not only help recruit more dental hygienists to the area but increase access to dental care for kids and elderly.

And on HB 340, Dukes said, "If you're going to drive in the state of Georgia then you need to make a contribution to it."

Drivers who lease their cars will have to pay a seven percent sales tax.

Before, those who leased did not have to pay it.

"The counties were being deprived of that revenue because of a quirk in the law," said Dukes.

The Georgia General Assembly starts back on January 8th.

Dukes said he plans to focus on internet access and affordable health care.

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