Ga. Tax Reform Hearings Get Under Way

August 30, 2010  |  

(Atlanta Business Chronicle) — A panel of business leaders and academic economists created by the General Assembly earlier this year has kicked off a series of hearings that will be held across the state during the next two weeks.

The Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians will examine the state’s tax code and recommend structural changes in the laws governing income and/or sales taxes to the legislature. The changes will be considered during this winter’s session. Property taxes will not be on the council’s agenda.

During Thursday’s opening hearing at the former railroad depot near the Georgia Capitol, some lobbyists called for higher taxes while others sought to protect tax breaks that groups they represent now enjoy. Several speakers called for lawmakers to increase the state’s tax on cigarettes, at 37 cents a pack one of the lowest in the nation. Supporters say taxing smokes at $1 a pack would raise $350 million to $400 million a year.

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