The proposal amends the provisions of the Constitution relating to industrial areas which exist in only two counties in the state. Under the Georgia Constitution in effect prior to 1983 it was possible to have "local constitutional amendments" which affected only certain areas in the state. Under this procedure local constitutional amendments were ratified in 1950 and 1956 creating industrial areas in Chatham County. Ga. Laws 1950, p. 444, and Ga. Laws 1956, p. 352. Under these constitutional amendments property in the industrial areas could never be annexed to any city, but any city could provide certain services and levy certain taxes in such areas. Under the local constitutional amendment procedure, the governing authorities of Jeff Davis County and its political subdivisions were also authorized to have a different type of industrial area in which they could exempt new industries from property taxes for a certain period of time. Ga. Laws 1963, p. 674.
Under the current Georgia Constitution which took effect in 1983, new local constitutional amendments were prohibited, but certain prior local constitutional amendments, including those creating industrial areas, were continued in effect. Any modification in such industrial areas must now be carried out through a state-wide constitutional amendment.
The current proposal would modify the conditions under which an owner of property in an industrial area may choose to remove the property from the industrial area. By a general constitutional amendment ratified in 1996 a property owner was authorized to remove the property, but only if the property was located on an island. Ga. Laws 1996, p. 1667. The current proposed amendment would remove the island limitation, so that any owner of property in an industrial area could choose to remove the property from the industrial area. Further, upon the filing of a removal certificate, the property shall be irrevocably annexed into the city which provides water services, or if none, then into the city that provides fire services.
A copy of this entire proposed constitutional amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is available for public inspection.
Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to allow the owners of real property located in industrial areas to remove the property from the industrial area?
( ) YES
( ) NO