“conduct a thorough study of the state’s current revenue structure and make a report of its findings and recommendations for legislation to the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor no later than January 10, 2011.”
The proposals will be submitted as a bill which the Legislature will receive an up or down vote during the 2011 legislative session.
Meetings are being held across the State as the Special Council works toward making it’s recommendations to the Legislature. I’ve attended two of these meetings and will be attending more. I urge you to attend some of these meetings as you have the time. The meeting schedule can be found here and here.
At the most recent meeting last week at Mercer University in Atlanta, several presentations were given. Kelly McCutchen of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and Alan Essig of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute made their proposals (here and here) for reforming Georgia’s tax system.
I also found the presentation by Matt Gardner of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy interesting. Gardner gave and overview of what other States have done in recent years on the tax reform front. Things have been tried, some have worked and some have not. Many States seem to be taxing more things, and removing tax exemptions (or loopholes).
Taxing more services for example, has come under consideration in other States. Currently Georgia only taxes 36 services. Florida and Tennessee tax more services but neither State has an income tax. Taxing internet purchases is being tried in some places but Congress will probably have to act if a nationwide system is to be effective. A couple of States have stopped taxing corporate income and are attempting to tax gross receipts. The jury is still out as to the effectiveness of taxes gross receipts.
The members of the Special Council are being careful not to indicate which way they may be leaning (if indeed they are leaning any way at all). They have a tall task in front of them but they seem to be well on the way to proposing a complete overhaul of Georgia’s tax system.
What type of tax system would you like to see in Georgia?