“This money is owed. There hasn’t been an efficient way to collect it,” said Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Hufstetler R-Rome.
The measure stalled in the Senate last year when lawmakers added a special deal - called a “carve out” because it means it doesn’t apply to select businesses - for Uber, lawmakers said.
This time around, Hufstetler said, “There is no special deals for anybody.”
However, Uber lobbyists are expected to push a separate bill that would charge customers a per ride fee, rather than a sales tax.
House Ways and Means Chairman Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, the measure’s sponsor, and Hufstetler said the bill, if signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp as expected, would put internet- and app-based companies on par with Georgia stores that have always charged sales taxes for their goods.
Uber spokeswoman, Evangeline George, said, “We agree that addressing inequities between online and brick and mortar retailers is an important issue. However, if action is not taken to put a reasonable fee structure on rideshare in place, Georgians will end up paying one of the highest rideshare taxes in the nation.”
The state may need the revenue to avoid further budget cuts. Tax collections have been slow since shortly after the General Assembly voted to cut the top state income tax rate in 2018.
The state reported Monday that collections are up 0.3% for the first six months of fiscal 2020, which began July 1. Income tax collections alone are tracking about $300 million less than expected, analysts say.
Kemp ordered state agencies in August to cut their budgets 4% this year and 6% next year. Ever since then, lawmakers have been looking for ways to raise revenue.