Hopefully the panel will come up with some good proposals. Georgia’s tax code hasn’t undergone serious reform since the days of Jimmy Carter.
A new panel looking at Georgia taxes begins work Wednesday with everything on the table.
And that means everything — from eliminating loopholes and restoring a 4 percent sales tax on all groceries to adding new levies on services from haircuts to auto repairs and giving businesses incentives to hire.
While political leaders say they want the committee to modernize — not raise — taxes, the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness will be the most heavily lobbied group around. Every business and industry in the state will want to either make sure its current exemptions are kept on the books or try to get new tax breaks.
The group’s final recommendations will go to the General Assembly, which will vote them up or down when they return for the 2011 legislative session in January.
In addition to discussing what taxes people pay and how they pay them, the committee also is likely to consider offsetting increases by cutting personal and/or corporate income taxes.
It could recommend eliminating some special-interest sales tax exemptions, as many candidates for governor had called for this year. And it could seek to add new tax breaks in hopes of giving businesses more incentives to hire workers.
Any changes are bound to be highly controversial.