Lawmakers Disagree on Tax Reform Proposals; SPECIAL COUNCIL TO REVISE SYSTEM Rewrite Planned Because Recommendations Would Require Constitutional Amendments

By Jones, Walter C. | The Florida Times Union, March 5, 2011 | Go to article overview

Lawmakers Disagree on Tax Reform Proposals; SPECIAL COUNCIL TO REVISE SYSTEM Rewrite Planned Because Recommendations Would Require Constitutional Amendments


Jones, Walter C., The Florida Times Union


Byline: WALTER C. JONES

ATLANTA - Not all of the sweeping, somewhat controversial, recommendations of the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness are likely to come up for a vote, legislative leaders said Friday.

No one will say which ideas will be scuttled and which will be kept. Among the ideas are reduction in the income-tax rate for individuals and corporations, extension of the sales tax to groceries and 50 services and elimination of most tax breaks.

The same leaders of the House and Senate wrote legislation last year creating the council of economists and representatives of business groups that spent five months studying ways to revise the tax system in hopes of sparking more jobs. The legislation called for all the recommendations to be considered as a single package in an yes-or-no vote without substantive changes.

They copied the process Congress uses for closing a list of military bases. The single vote is designed to prevent the recommendations from coming unraveled because of special interests.

Last week, the Georgia leaders introduced House Bill 385. But they immediately hit a snag when legal staff advised them that four of the recommendations require constitutional amendments that must be voted on separately to pass, according to House Majority Leader Larry O'Neal, R-Bonaire. …

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