Andy Brack of the Center for a Better South argues that Georgia needs a more “progressive” system of taxation. The Center for a Better South has published a new book called “Doing Better: Progressive Tax Reform for the American South,” which urges southern states to, among other things, tax more services:
Another idea: Even though Georgia’s economy is shifting more toward services, its government only taxes 36 out of 168 services identified by the Federation of Tax Administrators. If it taxed more services, it would reduce hidden preferences given to those services. An example: If a state taxes the purchase of a lawnmower, but doesn’t tax landscaping services that cut people’s lawns, there’s an institutional preference for the service over the good. Taxing the service would make the sales tax fairer – and generate more revenue for the state. With more money from taxed services, the state could lower its overall sales tax rate or invest in state programs and services.
According to Brack, Ways and Means Chair Larry O’Neal is interested in some of the ideas in the Center’s book:
…such as reducing sales tax exemptions for special interests or modernizing income brackets that have been untouched since 1937, could make taxes fairer for many Georgians.
I’m might be in favor of those items, but adding new taxes? Not so much.
There are a number of tax reform proposals floating around, and IIRC, there is a Study Committee examining Georgia’s taxation system as a whole. However, I hope the movement is toward fewer taxes for smaller amounts, not more taxes on more items.