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      Updates for Georgia taxes on the horizon

      Agriculture businesses along with manufacturing companies like Proctor and Gamble want a say in the tax reform

      House Bill 1405 was signed into law on June 1, 2010. It created the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians to study the state's current revenue structure.

      "The House and Senate passed legislation, the governor signed it to set up a special council to study the tax code to see what could be done if anything with the tax code to assist in growing jobs in Georgia," says A.D. Frazier with the Special Council.

      The committee added Albany to their route from Atlanta. Agriculture businesses along with manufacturing companies like Proctor and Gamble want a say in the tax change. A subject that was highly discussed Thursday night: the energy tax.

      "For every dollar we spend on energy, we get hit with a seven percent sales tax on that. We compete with other facilities that make the same products that we do in the United State and they don't have that tax," says Vince Falcione with Proctor and Gamble.

      Falcione says by eliminating the energy tax, hopefully they'll be able to create more competition and be on par with companies outside of Georgia. By doing this he also says they'll hopefully create more jobs. And for every one job at PNG, he says it creates three outside jobs, like construction for example.

      "We're competing against them and so we don't want to lose volume to those other sites so it's important that we stay competitive and it's important that we keep jobs here," says Falcione.

      Many seats at Darton College's auditorium were left empty during the forum. People who did attend the special council's meeting say there should've been a larger turnout for something that will heavily impact our economy.

      "This community when you think about it, they're looking at redoing our entire tax structure here in the state and that's really important," says Falcione.

      After the Council submits its notes, these finding will be crafted into legislation and will be considered for approval. Frazier says Georgia could have new tax codes by July 2011. The Council is not changing property taxes.

      "I was very pleased with the notes that were taken. What I'm in favor of is any kind of tax incentive that is used exclusively for creating jobs in underserved areas which Southwest Georgia certainly fits into that category," says State Rep. Ed Rynders (R-Dist. 152), who was the only local representative at the meeting, as Frazier noted.

      To see what suggestions businesses and people all over Georgia submitted, visit the website for the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians.

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