The Legislature has had a history of failing to act boldly regarding tax reform, choosing instead to piece-mail solutions that accomplish little other that putting government in a position to choose winners and losers. We can do better. We need tax reform that puts everyone on equal footing so that everyone has an equal opportunity to compete in a free market system.
The latest attempt at tax reform has a lot of problems, including one aspect that is unconstitutional. Billed as "E-Fairness" or the "Amazon Tax," the latest tax reform legislation created a law requiring online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases made across state lines. The Legislature accomplished this by redefining how a physical nexus, such as a storefront or warehouse, is considered. The tax will likely eliminate an income stream that some 6,000 Georgians had come to rely upon, which also represents a tax base of $29 Million to the state. It was poorly thought ought, and will likely have to be defended in court, when it will likely be ruled as a tax on interstate commerce and therefore unconstitutional.
The most shocking aspect of the Tax Reform legislation that was passed this year was the process used to pass it. It was passed out of the Senate late on a Monday. The Financial note that listed the impact of the bill was published on Tuesday morning, and then it was passed out of the House early Tuesday evening. They had little time to read and consider the impact of the legislation and had zero opportunity to hear public opinion.