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Monday, September 19, 2011 - 4:26am

Lawmakers Late On Tax Payments

About a fifth of Georgia's state lawmakers have failed to pay their taxes on time.

An investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows that federal, state or local governments have filed liens against 16 state senators and 32 representatives. A lien allows government officials to seize a person's property and sell it to recoup a tax debt.

The value of those liens was roughly $1.4 million in taxes, interest, penalties and fees.

Lawmakers commonly blamed the liens on the poor economy, bad business situations and or even bureaucratic mistakes.

House Ethics Chairman Joe Wilkinson says he will seek to ban lawmakers who owe taxes from serving on legislative committees. He says exceptions would be made for lawmakers who have reached a repayment plan.

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