Did you know that about 42 percent of Georgia residents lease their car? That number represents a massive uptick from the national average, which is 17 percent. Leasing a vehicle can be a very attractive deal for many state residents, fitting in to their financial situation better than purchasing a vehicle outright.

But a new Georgia tax law threatens to greatly reduce the number of people leasing cars, which could cause major financial (and transportation) issues for Atlanta residents.

State officials eliminated the "birthday tax" on new cars last year, which seemed like a good move at the time. But now that the realities of this elimination are imminent, the flaws of the move are coming into focus.

Under the birthday tax, any new car (lease or purchase) would result in the buyer paying an initial sales tax, plus monthly sales taxes (for leasers) or an annual property tax on the buyer's birthday (for purchasers).

The new law, which takes effect March 1, eliminates the initial sales tax and the "birthday tax," replacing them with a title tax. The rate of that tax will be 6.5 percent.

You may be asking yourself: "well, what about the monthly taxes the leaser has to pay?" That's the problem. Those taxes remain, meaning that, in many scenarios, it is more beneficial for someone to purchase a vehicle than to lease one. Some lawmakers are looking to reduce the imbalance between purchasers and leasers by decreasing the title tax to 4 percent for leasers.

Source: Associated Press, "Georgia car-tax law makes leasing less attractive," Jan. 29, 2013