Georgia’s new agricultural sales tax exemption (GATE) is expected to put an extra $72 million in the pockets of the state’s farmers over the next two years.

However, producers are reminded they’ll be required to have a tax exemption certificate before they can take advantage of the new law.

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, Georgia farmers will be exempt from paying sales tax on most materials used to produce commodities. This follows the Georgia General Assembly passing House Bill 386 earlier this year and Gov. Nathan Deal signing it into law.

To receive a sales tax exemption on agricultural equipment and production inputs, qualified farmers must submit their new tax exemption certificate to their retailer.

Applications may be completed electronically online at www.agr.georgia.gov or submitted by mail to Georgia Department of Agriculure, 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW, Suite 324, Atlanta, Ga. 30334. Applications also should be available at your local county Farm Bureau office.

The cost for the exemption certificate will be $20 if processed online or $25 for written applications. Payments can be made with Visa, Mastercard or personal check.

To qualify for a GATE certificate, a famer must: produce $2,500 per year or more in agricultural products; provide $2,500 per year worth of agricultural services or produce a long-term agricultural product with the potential to produce $2,500 per year; or be the owner of property that qualifies for the Conservation Use Value Assessment or Forestland Protection Act.

The GATE certificate may only be used by certified qualified agricultural producers, and certificates must be renewed annually.  Failure to renew the annual certificate deactivates the certificate with no exemption availability.

GATE replaces the Agricultural Certificate of Exemption (ST-A1) form previously used in Georgia.

Feed, seed, fertilizer, chemicals, equipment and some types of energy have been sales tax exempt for year, but other inputs were not, explains Jon Huffmaster, director of the Georgia Farm Bureau Legislative Department.

The exemption now will include input costs for energy, equipment parts, trailers, crop-dusters, and more, in addition to the existing exemptions for feed, seed, fertilizer, chemicals, and equipment.