April 12-- Republican efforts to change the state's tax code is apparently dead for this session of the Georgia legislature.
House Speaker David Ralston told reporters at the state Capitol on Monday that he pulled the bill after losing confidence in data provided by Georgia State University economists showing who would benefit from the revamped plan. It would have lowered the personal income tax rate and slapped a sales tax on some new goods and services.
Ralston said the work on tax reform will continue, and the legislature could take up the issue during a special session this summer that will tackle redistricting or during next year's session.
"Tax reform is not dead; tax reform is delayed," Ralston said.
Sen. Tommie Williams of Lyons released the following statement regarding the Tax Reform Council which had been formed last year to recommend changes to the state's tax code.
"We believe strongly in the policy and the direction that the Tax Reform Council has laid out. This issue is not over and the Tax Reform Council will remain active. This is a difficult issue and should not be rushed. The Speaker’s leadership on this issue and insistence that we get this right before moving forward is commendable. We will spend our time out of session continuing to look into ways to improve our tax system and put money back into the pockets of our hard working citizens. However, it will not happen until we are confident that the package we have crafted will be a tax cut for Georgians- not an increase. A fair, flatter tax structure is a key component to true tax reform. We are not interested in a political quick fix. What we want is true tax reform that is based on sound and verifiable public policy. Until we are confident of that we will continue to work to get it right.”