ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday that he plans to call a special session of the state legislature in order to fix a technical error on a bill that exempts hurricane relief payments from certain taxes.
Kemp said in a statement that he signed House Bill 105 despite the problem.
The bill, passed by the legislature in June with bipartisan support, shields farmers from having to pay state income tax on relief payments received after Hurricane Michael, which caused widespread damage across southern Georgia in Oct. 2018. It also imposes a 50-cent tax on ride-hailing service, taxi and limousine rides instead of leaving them subject to higher, regular sales taxes.
Experts from the University of Georgia have estimated that the hurricane caused more than $2 billion in damage to Georgia's agricultural industry.
"When House Bill 105 was amended, it appears an incorrect legislative counsel number (i.e., tracking number) was assigned to the draft," Kemp said in a signing statement. "Whereas this error is not necessarily a fatal flaw, this bill is far too important to our state to leave room for a legal challenge on its legitimacy."
The Republican governor did not specify when the special session would be held. His statement says that the special session "may also be timely to address other budgetary and oversight issues." That could include further addressing state budget woes that have followed the coronavirus pandemic.