Monday, November 25, 2013

Decatur bills 638 insurance companies

Earlier this month, Decatur sent bills for $75 to 638 insurance carriers that write policies in the city.  Insurance companies can mail in their payments or--for the first time--pay by credit card online at

State law says the license fee is imposed on insurance companies “for the privilege of engaging in the business of insurance” within Georgia’s cities.  The fee varies by city based on population in accordance with a state formula.

At $75 per carrier, Decatur’s insurance company billing for 2014 amounts to $47,850.  The fee payments represent about 10 percent of the city’s total occupational tax revenues, which go toward city operations and services.  During the last fiscal year, the city collected about $43,500 in license fees from insurance companies.
Our tax collection rate from insurance companies tends to be lower than other occupational tax types partly because of unpredictability and variation in the insurance market each year.  If an insurance company writes no business in Decatur in a given year, they are not required to pay the fee for that year.

In addition to their payment, insurance companies are required to file a notarized affidavit annually regarding their compliance with immigration laws.  If they renew online, they can just upload their affidavit rather than mailing it in.

Local, independent insurance companies are required to obtain a regular business license from City Hall which may run from $315 to $425 annually.

The city does not regulate insurance practices; Georgia’s insurance commissioner regulates insurance companies and licenses insurance agents.

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