Wed., March 23, 2011 2:29pm (EDT)

Tax Reform Still Alive Under Gold Dome
By Melissa Stiers
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
(GPB file photo)
(GPB file photo)
Georgia’s unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent for over a year. Creating jobs was a much talked about issue during last fall's election.

Although no jobs creation bills have been taken up this year, if you ask Republican leadership under the gold dome about the issue, they’ll tell you the session isn’t over yet.

"First thing is we’re not raising taxes," says House Speaker David Ralston, "Second thing is we're making government leaner and more efficient, and we’re still looking at ideas the tax reform council has given us."

Republicans created the tax council last year. They charged the group with rewriting the tax code in order to stimulate job growth. While it recommends lowering the income tax, it also suggests creating a tax on services and food. Democratic lawmakers oppose the entire package.

Senate minority leader Democrat Robert Brown, who sits on the joint committee reviewing the plan, questions its intent.

"I don’t see where you can show me in this process that you create jobs. I think the wealthiest Georgians come out real well under this scheme but I don’t think that necessarily creates jobs. I think that creates investment opportunities on Wall Street," says Brown.

Republican leaders in the house say they’ll know next week if they will vote on the tax council's recommendations.

If they do vote on tax reform, they say the measure likely won't include all of the council's ideas.