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July 22--  A state senate committee is studying tax reform in Georgia including the feasibility of replacing the income tax with a sales tax.

Senator Judson Hill of Marietta is chairing the study committee which held its first hearing last week.

"The broad picture is to look at tax reform and the fair tax as a subset of that and see what we can do to promote job creation and economic development and growth for the people of the state," he says.

Senator Hill believes their are good reasons to look at changing the state's tax system.

"It truly is more fair.  It brings in revenues from all across the economy.  There's an underground economy out there that doesn't pay taxes.  By taxing consumption, you eliminate that.  Also you eliminate the need to file an income tax at the state level and it's real simple and easy to understand.

"We want to explore that and make sure these broad generalizations can be done in a fiscally responsible way and whether more tax reform measures would be beneficial in this state and how to go about doing that," he reports.

The study committee chairman believes state level tax reform is the place to start.

"Many people believe the states are the best incubators of great ideas and solutions.  We've seen the challenges of getting many things accomplished in Washington.

"I intend to have at least one or more hearings around the state whether it's in Vidalia or Middle Georgia or North Georgia because I think it's vitally important that all Georgians participate in this dicsussion.

The committee is expected to report its findings and any proposed legislation in time to be considered when the legislature convenes in January.