Ga. proposal would grant amnesty to late taxpayers

ATLANTA — Georgians late on paying their taxes would get a break from the government under a proposal announced by state Democratic lawmakers.

Rep. Keith Heard is co-sponsoring a bill that would allow delinquent taxpayers to settle up debts owed between 1991 and 2009 without penalties or interest within a 10-month window. Amnesty would not apply to taxpayers who have been accused of tax fraud.

Heard said Monday that such an amnesty hasn't been offered in Georgia in two decades, and that the time is ripe to revive the program. In 1992, when the state last gave amnesty to tardy taxpayers, Georgia netted more than $51 million.

Hears said similar programs have netted nearly $1 billion in states including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut and Hawaii.