Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Governor Signs Legislation Creating Tax Reform Council

Governor Sonny Perdue yesterday announced that he has signed House Bill 1405, legislation creating the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians. The Governor was joined by House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.

“Throughout my term and during this challenging economic time, we have transformed state government by implementing efficiencies and cost-savings measures in our agencies,” said Governor Perdue. “This legislation sets up a framework that will allow for a serious examination of our tax code and ensure that it works for Georgians.”

The members of the council, as specified in the legislation, are Governor Perdue, Dr. David Sjoquist of Georgia State University, Dr. Jeffrey Humphreys of the University of Georgia, Dr. Roger Tutterow of Mercer University, Dr. Christine Ries of Georgia Tech, the 2010 chairperson of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the 2010 Georgia chairperson of the National Federation of Independent Business and two members each appointed by the Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House.

The Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgian will conduct a study of the state’s current revenue structure.  Following their study, the Council will make a report of its finding and recommend legislation to the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor.

Under the legislation, the Council will make a recommendation to the Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure.  The Special Joint Committee will then write a bill which will be voted on by the General Assembly without amendments.

This process is similar to the federal Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission from the mid-2000s.

NFIB/Georgia, the state’s leading small business association with 7,900 members statewide, praised the legislation

“This is a big victory for small business,” NFIB Georgia State Director David Raynor said. “Small business is the heart and soul of Georgia’s economy and one of the challenges facing our entrepreneurs and small, family businesses is high taxes. We thank the governor for signing HB 1405 into law, and we thank the House and Senate leadership for making NFIB/Georgia a part of the reform process. The decision to put the chairman of the NFIB/Georgia Leadership Council on this council shows us that our elected officials understand the crucial role small business plays in Georgia’s economy and will play in its recovery.”

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