Georgia Senate passes bill proponents say increases revenue transparency



(The Center Square) — The Georgia Senate signed off on legislation that proponents said would give more insight into the state’s budgeting process.

On Tuesday, state senators passed Senate Bill 366, the Tax Expenditures Transparency Act of 2024, by a 50-0 margin.

The measure increases the number of audits the chairs of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees may request annually from five to six. It also requires more details about expected revenues to be included in the annual general appropriations bill and creates the Joint Committee on Taxation and Economic Development to meet in odd-numbered years to review the economic analyses requested.

“This legislation will expand the General Assembly’s ability to conduct audits and economic analyses of tax incentive programs, while considering proposals for reform,” Lt. Governor Burt Jones, a Republican, said in a statement. “The process will also draw on the expertise of our state’s top economists, the business and economic development community, and other stakeholders.

“From this year’s review process, it is evident that legislators need the time to hear all sides of these complicated issues, consider the fiscal and economic impact of specific parts of our state’s tax structure, and propose changes outside the crunch of the annual 40-day legislative session,” Jones added.

Americans for Prosperity-GA Coalitions Director Jacquelyn Harn said the measure “would make Georgia a more competitive state for business and opportunity by unleashing comprehensive budget and tax reform.”

“Including revenue policies in the state’s general appropriations allows legislators to better manage the budget, and allow for increased transparency and accountability for how tax dollars are spent,” Harn said in a statement.

“By including revenue amounts and tax preferences in the annual budget, SB 366 would produce a fully comprehensive budget,” Harn added. “This puts Georgia in the driver’s seat for responsible budget reform and sets up the Peach State to lead and inspire states across the country for all kinds of better policies.”

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