Georgia Senate Special Tax Exemption Study Committee Makes Recommendations


  Posted December 22, 2017 at 04:23 PM

The Georgia Senate Special Tax Exemption Study Committee held its final meeting today, December 22, 2017 to make its recommendations.  The Committee held four meetings in 2017 throughout the state.  I testified at the Atlanta meeting in support of continuing the Georgia Research Credit as well as expanding the credit by adding an alternative simplified credit.  Advanta’s testimony cited numerous studies explaining that states with research credits have increased job growth and investment over states that do not. One other hearing participant from an advocacy group testified in support of the Georgia Film Credit.

Senator Albers summarized the Committee’s recommendations and the Committee voted to approve them.  The research credit was one of the first six incentives that the committee reviewed. The Committee found that it was hugely beneficial to the state and recommended keeping the research credit as well as potentially expanding the credit. 

The recommendations on the other five incentives:

·        Drivers Education Credit – Sunset

·        Diesel Particulate Emission Reduction Technology Credit – Sunset

·        Qualified Transportation Credit – Sunset

·        Historic Rehabilitation Credit – Recommended continuation of the credit.  It was found to be beneficial to the state of Georgia as well as local governments. 

·        Film Credit – Recommended continuation the credit.  The Committee found extraordinary results from the Film credit. 

The Committee developed a process to analyze Georgia tax incentives.  All credits and incentives that are not permanent will be analyzed on a five-year rotating basis.  The fiscal policy report will be completed for an incentive the year prior to review.

New or extended provisions for credits and incentives will go through a sunrise process.  A template was created for the business case author and bill sponsor to follow.  A validation process through the Fiscal Research Center was also created. 

The Committee previously discussed a two-year process from bill introduction to a vote on a tax incentive bill.  The Committee decided that it would not move forward with this recommendation and would consider the issue further. 

Roy Bowen from the Georgia Association of Manufacturers suggested that when a new bill starts in the House, that a copy is sent to the Senate Finance Committee to give the members more time to process the bill.  Senator Albers supported the idea and agreed to discuss with Finance Committee Chairman Hufstetler.