Tax Reform Is Coming….Hooray!

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.

12 comments

  1. chefdavid says:

    Yee haw let the lobbying for the exemption bus begin
    From the bill:
    “(3) If the special joint committee recommends that one or more bills or resolutions referred to it do pass or do pass by committee substitute, the measure or measures recommended by the special joint committee shall then be in order for consideration only by the House of Representatives at any time fixed by the Speaker of the House. Any such bill or resolution shall be reported directly to the floor of the House and shall receive an up or down vote as reported from the special joint committee without amendment;

    (4) If one or more bills or resolutions referred by the special joint committee are passed by the House of Representatives, the measure or measures shall then be in order for consideration only by the Senate at any time fixed by the President of the Senate. Any such bill or resolution shall be reported directly to the floor of the Senate and shall receive an up or down vote as reported from the House without amendment;”
    http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/search/hb1405.htm

      • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

        Technically it was a goatee. Mirror Mirror, my favorite ST: TOS episode.

        “I submit to you that your Empire is illogical because it cannot endure. I submit that you are illogical to be a willing part of it.”

        “One man cannot summon the future.”
        “But one man can change the present.”

  2. AubieTurtle says:

    Problem: In a sluggish economy, political contributions are down.

    Solution: Make all the special interests pony up again to get their beloved bennies. Think of it as a subscription renewal.

    Tax reform is one of those things that sounds nice but when you realize all it really is a chance to shift the tax burden onto those with the least political power, it doesn’t sound quite as good. Unless of course you’re one of the ones who gets their taxes reduced at the expense of others.

    Spending reform… now that’s something everyone can get behind (at least until they find out if is their favorite spending that gets the ax).

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