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Georgia: Fireworks Soon to be Legal, Taxable


 The 4th of July in Georgia is about to get more fun.

 Update 6.29.2015 (just in time for the 4th): The Georgia Department of Revenue has posted information about the fireworks excise tax on its website. 

As of this writing, the sale of consumer fireworks is illegal in Georgia. Effective July 1, 2015, that will no longer be true.

Just in time for the 4th of July, Georgians will be able to legally purchase consumer fireworks, which are defined as follows in House Bill 110:

“Consumer fireworks' means any small fireworks devices containing restricted 35 amounts of pyrotechnic composition, designed primarily to produce visible or audible 36 effects by combustion, that comply with the construction, chemical composition, and 37 labeling regulations of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission as 38 provided for in Parts 1500 and 1507 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the 39 United States Department of Transportation as provided for in Part 172 of Title 49 of the 40 Code of Federal Regulations, and the American Pyrotechnics Association as provided for 41 in the 2001 American Pyrotechnics Association Standard 87-1, and additionally shall 42 mean Roman candles.”

Got that?

Businesses intending to sell fireworks must pay a licensing fee of $5,000; the funds will be spent on public safety. All sales of consumer fireworks will be subject to a 5% excise tax and state and local sales taxes.

Consumer fireworks are already legal in Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee, which border Georgia (they are illegal in neighboring North Carolina). Georgia Governor Nathan Deal says legalizing fireworks “just made sense.” “People in our state are crossing state lines and buying fireworks…. And I think we have taken every precaution we can to try to eliminate any injuries associated with it” (AJC.com).

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.