Georgia voters might have to weigh in on a proposal to restructure the state’s tax system.
The plan from the Special Council on Tax Reform adds sales tax to groceries and services and gradually reduces the state’s income taxes. It also would add a statewide tax on telephone, Internet and television services -- including satellite TV, which is not taxed now -- to replace local fees for those services. But that change would require voter approval.
So would the creation of a fund to give tax credits to new and growing businesses and changes in how tax legislation is handled by the General Assembly.
But Alan Essig, executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute think-tank, said putting the issues on the ballot can be dicey.
“All [voters] have is a very short description on the ballot of what [the amendment] is and sometimes that description isn’t very well written,” Essig said. “And again, if in that description you have the word ‘tax,’ I think it makes it that much more difficult.”
But Essig said if the amendments failed, it likely would not scuttle the council’s reforms.
“If these items were rejected, it wouldn’t change the overriding policy prescription that the tax council had laid out,” Essig said.
If lawmakers approve some or all of the tax reform plan, the amendments would go to voters in November 2012.