This morning, House Bill 208, the 2015 version of the Georgia FairTax, was read for the first time in the Georgia House of Representatives. The bill would set a sales tax rate of 7.5%, and would provide for a prebate to individuals and families equivalent to half the sales tax rate times 1/12 of the annual poverty level. The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Tom Kirby of Loganville, represents an update to House Bill 688, a similar bill filed by Kirby in the 2013-2014 session.
Much like H.R. 25, the federal FairTax bill sponsored by Georgia Congressman Rob Woodall, the bill replaces the income tax with a consumption tax. During the current two year legislative term, Rep. Kirby expects tax reform to be under consideration, and he wants a consumption tax, and especially the FairTax to be part of that conversation. While there are details, such as which, if any services would be subject to taxation that need to be filled in, Rep. Kirby said much of the work on the bill was complete.
Kirby arranged for the bill to be read for the first time today so it would coincide with the day Georgians for Fair Taxation visited the Capitol, and he recognized the group in morning orders. After the bill was read in the House, Speaker David Ralston assigned the bill to the Ways and Means committee.