Here are the sleeper issues for the 2018 General Assembly Session:
* Metro Atlanta transit issues will be addressed by lawmakers, but there will no expensive heavy rail projects in the mix.
* Rural Georgia will finally get attention, especially broadband expansion.
* There will be no new mandate related to lottery funds, but the local-option casino “destination resort” legislation will be reworked and expanded to include not only metro Atlanta and Savannah locations, but also a third undefined area– conceivably Augusta or Columbus or the Brunswick coastal area. This will garner more votes– and the legislation will suddenly gain leadership support.
* Fantasy sports gaming will finally face taxation. (See staff writer Cindy Morley’s related article on legislation by state Rep. Trey Kelley, R-Cedartown.)
* A new effort will made rein in county taxes– in particular, in Fulton County. State Sen. John Albers, R-Alpharetta, has pre-filed six bills addressing property tax assessments in Fulton– a move that comes after residents over the summer received notices showing incredible double-digit increases in their property values.
Each piece of legislation would change property tax assessments for the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park and Roswell as well as for Fulton County schools. The bills limit the tax increase residents see each year by creating a 3-percent cap on property tax assessment increases..