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Georgia Private College Buildings Tax Exemption, Referendum 1 (2014)

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Referendum 1
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Type:State statute
Referred by:Georgia Legislature
Topic:Taxes on the ballot
Status:On the ballot
2014 measures
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May 20
Democratic Primary AQs Approveda
November 4
Amendment A
Amendment B
Referendum 1
The Georgia Private College Buildings Tax Exemption, Referendum 1 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Georgia as a legislatively-referred state statute. The measure, upon voter approval, would extend a "public property" ad valorem tax exemption to privately owned and operated student dormitories and parking decks, that are obliged by contract to serve the university, within the University of Georgia system.[1]

The statute is part of a larger legislative package related to the privatization of student dormitories. The package, taken together, would lease dormitories to private firms who would collect revenues from operating the dorms. The package would leave some control of student dorm boarding prices to administrators. The leasing companies would take on any existing debt on leased properties and have the option of building new dormitories. Leases would last from 30 to 65 years and many would include a renewal option. Private companies would bid on contracts and be selected following the referendum's approval.[2]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title is as follows:[3]

Allows property owned by the University System of Georgia and operated by providers of student housing and other facilities to remain exempt from taxation.[4]

Ballot summary

The ballot text reads as follows:[1]

Shall property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?

( ) YES
( ) NO [4]





  • Sen. Mike Crane (R-28) criticized the ballot title, saying, "The proposed wording for the ballot referendum includes wording that I believe would be misleading. To insinuate a ‘yes’ vote will ‘keep costs affordable’ is an exaggeration at best and certainly a promise the (Board of Regents) cannot keep.”[5]


See also: Polls, 2014 ballot measures
Georgia Private College Buildings Tax Exemption Measure (2014)
Poll Support OpposeUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Todd Rehm
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Path to the ballot

See also: Legislatively-referred state statute

The amendment was approved by a necessary two-thirds vote in both chambers of the Georgia Legislature. HB 788 was approved by the Georgia House of Representatives on February 26, 2014. The amendment was approved by the Georgia Senate on March 18, 2014.[1] Gov. Deal (R) signed the bill on April 24, 2014, thus putting the measure on the ballot.[6]

House vote

February 26, 2014 House vote

Georgia HB 788 House Vote
Approveda Yes 166 97.08%

Senate vote

March 18, 2014 Senate vote

Georgia HB 788 Senate Vote
Approveda Yes 44 86.27%

See also

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