New car tax revs up confusion among customers and dealers - CBS46 News

New car tax revs up confusion among customers and dealers

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CHAMBLEE, GA (CBS46) -

Customers looking to buy a car may end up spinning their wheels to get the right answer on how much they will pay in taxes.

That is because a new law that replaced the old birthday tax with a one-time fee is revving up a lot of confusion for customers and car dealers.

In some cases, the dealer will tell customers that they owe a certain amount with that new one-time fee.

The problem is that a local Department of Drivers' Services may give another figure, leaving customers frustrated.

Richard Lee is buying a new car, but before he entered the showroom, his gears were spinning with confusion over the new fee.

"It made me think twice about going in and signing the papers," Lee.

A new law that took effect March 1 places a one-time 6.5 percent tax on new car purchases based on the total value of the car.

Steve Burroughs, the general sales manager with Henessy Lexus, said his dealership would quote one dollar amount for the fee.

The local tag office, however, would tell them something totally different.

"It created a lot of confusion and anger toward us," Burroughs said. "In several cases, we had to send the customer back several times and they finally got it right."

Mark Frost, the general manager with Jim Ellis Chevrolet, said a glitch in the new law double-taxed customers looking to lease.

Frost complained that is crushing his leasing business.

"It's off 50 percent," Frost said.

State lawmakers fixed that problem, but some customers are still nervous.

"The jargon used in explaining it was really not clear," Lee said.

Lee now understands what he will have to pay, but he said that is because his dealer carefully explained it to him, not the tag office.

"It's not that I mistrust government, but you mistrust wordiness without explanation. I don't think we received that," Lee said.

To find out how much tax you'll pay on your new car, click here for a link to the tax calculator on Georgia Department of Revenue's website.

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