By Rockdale County Probate Judge Clarence Cuthpert, Jr.
Any disabled veteran of a war or armed conflict in which a branch of the armed forces of the United States engaged, whether under United States command or otherwise, any veteran of peace-time service in the United States armed forces who has a physical disability incurred during the period of such service, or any blind person may peddle, conduct business, or practice their professions and semi-professions in any county or municipality in the State of Georgia without paying an occupation tax, administrative fee, or regulatory fee for the privilege of so doing, provided such person receives a certificate of exemption issued by the commissioner of veterans service. In order to receive the said exemption, the issuing authority must be satisfied that the person making application is a resident of this state, and that the income of the person is such that he or she is not liable for the payment of state income taxes.
A war veteran must furnish satisfactory proof that he or she has a physical disability which is disabling to the extent of 10 percent or more; that his or her service in the armed forces of the United States was terminated under conditions other than dishonorable; and that his or her service or some part thereof was rendered during a war period as defined by an act of the Congress of the United States, or during one of the recognized periods of military conflict. Proof of the veteran’s 10 percent disability shall be established upon the written certificate of two physicians, by a letter or other written evidence from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Veterans Service stating the degree of disability, or by written evidence from the branch of the armed forces of the United States in which the veteran served.
A veteran of peace-time service in the United States armed forces must furnish proof that he or she has a physical disability to the extent of 25 percent or more, incurred in the line of duty during the period of their service, by a letter or other evidence from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Department of Veterans Service. The letter must state the degree of disability, or the disability may be proven by written evidence from the branch of the armed forces of the United States in which the veteran served. The documentation presented must also show that the veteran’s service in the armed forces of the United States was terminated under conditions other than dishonorable.
An applicant whose disability is blindness must furnish satisfactory proof of their blindness to the issuing authority.
All persons seeking a certificate of exemption from the payment of occupation taxes, administrative fees, or regulatory fees for peddling,
conducting a business, or practicing a profession or semi-profession must first make application to the judge of the probate court of the county in which he or she resides for a certificate of eligibility. Each applicant shall also make an affidavit before the judge of the probate court that he or she is not subject to payment of any income taxes to this state. Upon receipt of the required evidence and executed affidavit, the judge of the probate court shall issue a certificate of eligibility stating that the applicant has furnished the proof required for the issuance of a certificate of exemption required by the commissioner of veterans service. Such certificate of eligibility shall be valid for a period of ten years.
Eligibility for a certificate of exemption to be issued by the commissioner of veterans service shall be determined after an application has been submitted by the disabled veteran including the kind of business to be operated, and the place where the business is proposed to be carried on. Only the business described in the application shall be exempt from the payment of state, county, municipal business or occupation taxes, or administrative and regulatory fees imposed by local governments. No person shall operate in his or her own name any other business than what is described in his or her application, deal in or peddle intoxicating drinks, operate a billiard, pool, or other table of like character, deal in futures, carry on a business of pawnbroker or auctioneer, or allow the use of his or her name, or certificate, by any other person for carrying on any business or profession in this state for the purpose of avoiding any tax levied by the state, county or municipality.
For additional information or to determine your eligibility for this exemption, you should contact the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Department of Veterans Service.
Throughout each month, the clerk of courts, tax commissioner, sheriff and probate judge—Rockdale’s elected constitutional officers—discuss topics relevant to their respective roles.