It may be the last day of the 2013 General Assembly session, but Thursday will be the beginning for new Fair Tax legislation.
In 2010, Tom Kirby didn't get the votes to replace the FairTax's original sponsor John Linder in Congress, but he won a special election to go to the state House last year, where he plans to continue the quest.
Kirby, R-Loganville, plans to introduce the Georgia Fair Taxation Act of 2014 on legislative Day 40, getting a head start on next year. The legislation is a take on the congressional idea, now being sponsored by U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville. It would eliminate the state income tax and raise the state sales tax.
"By removing the income tax, we can increase the number of taxpayers and reduce the amount everyone pays," Kirby said. "The public is ready for serious tax reform and bold solutions to solve our economic problems."
Over the legislative break, Kirby plans to bring together leading economists to decide the proper tax rates to ensure a neutral effect on the state's revenue. Over the next nine months, the group will also decide which goods and services should be included in the bill's consumption tax, and whether any exemptions should be made. Rep. Kirby and the economists will also study the positive impacts the change could have on economic development in Georgia.
"This legislation would move Georgia from an income tax to a consumption-based tax, so that tourists and visitors would share in the tax burden," he said. "By shifting this responsibility, the state will be able to receive tax dollars from everyone who enjoys government services, and in turn help Georgia attract new business."
At least eight states, including Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee, do not have income taxes. Others, like South Carolina, are considering a change.
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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