Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act
Bills are moving forward through the Georgia General Assembly that would dedicate a portion of the current sales and use tax collected on outdoor recreation equipment to land conservation - an estimated $40 million annually. This change from appropriated to dedicated funding would allow the state to more effectively manage its land acquisition program and to leverage additional private and philanthropic investment.
The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act (GOSA, HB332), along with legislation calling for a voter referendum in November 2018 (HR238) would dedicate 75% of all tax revenue collected annually from the sale of outdoor recreation equipment for the purpose of the protection and preservation of conservation land. If approved by voters the Act would:
Provide for the acquisition of critical areas for the provision or protection of clean water, game, wildlife, or fisheries, or natural-resource-based outdoor recreation.
Aid local governments in the acquisition and improvement of local parks and trails.
Provide for the stewardship of conservation lands through maintenance and restoration projects.
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the nation’s leading trade association for the outdoor recreation industry supports the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act.
“Outdoor recreation is a significant sector of the nation’s economy. In Georgia alone it drives $27 billion in consumers spending annually and is responsible for 238,000 jobs across the state," said Cailin O'Brien-Feeney, State and Local Policy Manager for OIA. "Investments that protect and ensure continued access to lands, waters and recreational areas will not only grow this industry, but also support healthy lifestyles in local communities. We support the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act because it will make greater investment in the outdoors without raising taxes, creating fees or putting any additional burden on retailers.”
Tall Timbers supports GOSA as it will provide greater opportunities for land conservation and public recreation in southwest Georgia. This complements our conservation easement program. If you have an opportunity – please reach out and tell your State Representative or State Senator that you want them to support dedicated funding for land conservation and acquisition in Georgia in 2018.
R to L: Kevin McGorty, Tall Timbers Land Conservancy Director; Representative Sam Watson (R – Moultrie); Shane Wellendorf, Tall Timbers Conservation Coordinator at the Georgia Land Conservancy’s Legislative Breakfast at State Capitol on January 29. Representative Watson is one of the lead sponsors of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act.