New means car leasers pay more - CBS46 News

New law means car leasers pay more

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

At one time, leasing a new car in Georgia would have been a lot cheaper than buying one.

But because of a quirk in a new state law that went into effect Friday, leasing may no longer make sense.

Mark Frost, Vice President of Operations at Jim Ellis Chevrolet said leasing a car now would be as expensive as buying a car, but you would not have the benefit of ownership.

"The reason people lease a car is to get more car at less of a payment," Frost said. "This is going to erase that. So where is the incentive in the first place?"

The new law replaces the so-called birthday tax with a one-time fee based on the value of the car.

The law also charges customers who lease cars the same tax they would pay if they bought the cars for the full dollar amount, not the tax they would pay on the leased value.

In practical terms, a car that would have cost $202 a month to lease on Feb. 28, costs $257 as of March 1, Frost said.

Lawmakers were supposed to have fixed the problem by Friday.

The House passed a proposal earlier this month.

The Senate revised the measure and sent it back to the House.

Both chambers, however, left for the weekend without fixing the problem.

Larry O'Neal, the House Majority Leader, said the senate delivered its plan at the last minute.

"We just got it today," O'Neal said.

When asked if the senate gave the house enough time to make a decision, O'Neal responded, "No, sir. We'll be working all weekend with our colleagues in the Senate to try to reach a compromise."

O'Neal said he hopes lawmakers can make a deal next week.

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