“I think this is great fiscal policy for us,” Albers said.
Currently, such tax breaks -- which cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year -- often occur after supporters provide testimony or data from industry lobbyists or other parties that would benefit. Those advocates typically tell lawmakers the tax break will create or save jobs, and legislators give the OK.
Some tax breaks pass without lawmakers being told how much they will cost the state, or save the business or industry, although there are fewer of those now than in the past.
Businesses hire lobbyists specifically to get such tax breaks passed because they can mean millions of dollars to a company.
Many times tax breaks pass in the final hours of a legislative session, when lawmakers are taking hundreds of votes and have little time to review what they are voting on.
Both Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome and House Ways & Means Chairman Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, who run the tax committees, have made it clear they plan to closely scrutinize tax break legislation before their panels.
Such bills typically start in the House, and Harrell’s committee let far fewer out last year than the General Assembly has approved in the past.