2002 Ballot Questions


Constitutional Amendment 1 – Dedication of Fees and Taxes to Their Intended Purpose by General Law

Ballot Question: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize the General Assembly to dedicate revenues derived from fees or taxes to the public purpose for which such fees or taxes were intended?”

Brief Description: There are various trust funds set forth in statute pertaining to hazardous waste, solid waste, and the “Joshua’s Law” driver’s education program, to name a few. If this ballot measure passes, the legislature could dedicate such fees and taxes to their specific purposes by introducing general legislation, subject to certain requirements and conditions.

Constitutional Amendment 2 – Civil Actions Against State and Local Governments

Ballot Question:  “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to waive sovereign immunity and allow the people of Georgia to petition the superior court for relief from governmental acts done outside the scope of lawful authority or which violate the laws of this state, the Constitution of Georgia, or the Constitution of the United States?”

Brief Description: Sovereign immunity means that the government as the sovereign is immune from lawsuits. Court decisions on sovereign immunity in Georgia have made it very difficult to file lawsuits to challenge state or local government actions in the courts of this state. The ballot question from HR 1023 is asking Georgia voters if they would like to amend the state Constitution to waive sovereign immunity to allow actions in superior court seeking declaratory relief (in other words, a legal determination of the parties’ rights from the court) regarding whether the acts of state or local governments and their officers and employees are outside the scope of lawful authority or in violation of state laws or the Georgia Constitution, or the U.S. Constitution.

Referendum A – Tax Exemption for Certain Real Property Owned by Charitable Organizations

Ballot Question: “Shall the Act be approved which provides an exemption from ad valorem taxes for all real property owned by a purely public charity, if such charity is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code and such real property is held exclusively for the purpose of building or repairing single-family homes to be financed by such charity to individuals using loans that shall not bear interest?”

Brief Description: Referendum A proposes an exemption from ad valorem tax on property held by a charity for the exclusive purpose of building or repairing single-family homes financed using no interest loans. This property tax exemption would apply to a small category of 501(c)(3) organizations including Habitat for Humanity.