“This is good policy, and it’s the right thing to do,” 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.
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.
Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, has already said he wants a broader-based study of Georgia’s tax system, something the state does about once a decade. During last year’s session, he also pushed to eliminate about $200 million in tax breaks to save money.