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Sunday, November 28, 2010 - 8:00pm

Tax Council Hones Recommendations

The group tasked with overhauling Georgia’s tax system meets Wednesday in Atlanta. Its recommendations will be ready in a few weeks.

Make Georgia’s tax code stimulate business growth—is the charge of the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness.

Although its final recommendations won’t come until mid-December, they’ll probably uphold Georgia’s tax credits.

A. D. Frazier chairs the council. "They’re a fact of life. All other states competing with us brutally for new jobs and new business have some special tax credit, some exemptions, deal or deals they’re willing to offer companies," says Frazier, "so we can not not."

Also, likely to remain untouched… inputs on manufacturing and farming. Right now raw materials and feed aren’t taxed. Frazier says it will probably stay that way.

As far as a state grocery tax? Governor-elect Nathan Deal said he wouldn’t support it while campaigning so it could be off-limits too.

And taxing services like hair cuts and car repairs… that’s still up for consideration, says Frazier.

The tax council finished its tour of the state to hear concerns from people and businesses. Frazier says the most resounding complaint was against local taxes, property taxes in particular. Though local collections aren’t under the council’s purview, Frazier points out that’s where the biggest tax burden lies.

"Georgia ranks 48 in per capital tax revenue in Georgia. Georgia state tax. 48 that’s low. We rank 22nd in local taxes," says Frazier. "So we’re above the median in local taxes collected."

Frazier says in some cases, the inventory tax on businesses makes up a large portion of the local digest. He says the council will hear from experts Wednesday on how inventory taxes in neighboring states compare with Georgia.

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