by T.A. DeFeo
Georgia leaders plan to review the state’s various tax credits, saying they want to ensure any credits provide a “significant return on investment” for Georgia’s taxpayers.
The review, announced Thursday, will include the oft-lauded film tax credit. House and Senate members will work with various industry stakeholders and state offices, including the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Governor’s Office of Planning & Budget and the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Lawmakers plan to undertake the review between the Georgia General Assembly’s 2023 and 2024 sessions. Lawmakers could consider any changes during the 2024 session.
“We take pride in Georgia being the best state in the nation for business, and we have worked year after year to carefully craft an incentive structure that promotes job growth,” House Speaker Jon Burns, R-Newington, said in an announcement.
“It is incumbent on us to ensure our tax credits continue to provide good value while keeping the tax burden on all Georgians as low as possible,” Burns added. “We will be very deliberate in this examination, and the House is committed to working with the Senate and Governor Kemp’s administration to keep Georgia the state that businesses and families want to call home.”
In a news release, Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, said, “we remain committed to keeping Georgia a welcoming state for opportunity while also being good stewards of taxpayer trust.” Lt. Governor Burt Jones, a Republican, said the process was initiated by last year’s income tax reform bill.
“This effort is a key step in ensuring that all tax credit programs provide a sound return on investment while giving Georgians a new opportunity to consider reductions of the state income tax,” Jones said in an announcement.
“We appreciate the thought that has gone into this decision, and we will support the review process,” a Georgia Department of Economic Development said in an email to The Center Square.
Business and taxpayer-focused groups lauded the news.
“Americans for Prosperity applauds Governor Kemp, Lt. Governor Jones, and Speaker Burns for their commitment to protecting Georgia taxpayers,” Tony West, the group’s deputy state director, told The Center Square via email.
“All too often, tax credits benefit the few, at the expense of the many,” West added. “Transformative tax reform and greater tax relief for all Georgians is possible by simplifying the tax code, and ending special-interest tax breaks that don’t make sense for the average Georgian.”
Georgia Public Policy Foundation President and CEO Kyle Wingfield said the review could help broaden Georgia’s tax base and stave off competition from other states.
“Georgia is a highly competitive state in a strong economic position, but our neighbors are not sitting by idly,” Wingfield told The Center Square via email.
“Tax policy, specifically the tax rates imposed on working, saving and investing, are an area where Georgia must continue to make strides if we are to keep the pace,” Wingfield added. “The best way to ensure low rates for all is to broaden the base, and this examination of tax credits should help identify opportunities to do that. We look forward to this review process.”
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T.A. DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Georgia Capitol” by Autiger. CC BY-SA 2.0.