Harbin: Hybrid consumption/income tax model 'not likely' in Georgia

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email
Ben Harbin

State Rep. Ben Harbin doesn't think an overhaul of the tax code that would reduce income tax by taxing services and previously untaxed goods and transactions will work for Georgia. (April 8, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, April 8, 2011

AUGUSTA---Many Georgia leaders will soon turn their eyes from the green on the course to the green in your wallet. The state is working on major tax reform.

Don't rule out a new tax if you are planning to get your car serviced. It is being called the mechanic tax.

Don't rule out a new tax if you are planning to sell you car to a neighbor or friend. That is being called the casual sales tax.

Don't rule out a new tax if you have satellite television. Call it the communications tax.

"It's a tax increase for those people," said Rep. Ben Harbin. "That's not fair."

The state is working on reducing income taxes in exchange for a service tax.

"We're trying to build this hybrid model that I don't think works," said Harbin. "I think ultimately you're sticking the government's nose into both ends of the tax, and i don't think that is good in the long term."

"We don't want to cut education. We don't want to cut health care," said Harbin. "We don't want to cut infrastructure or public safety...but all of those have to be cut a little, because it is the only way you balance the state's budget."

Senator Hardie Davis held a conference with local voters to hear their concerns about tax reform.

"Quite frankly," said Davis, "Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats were in strong opposition to this measure."

"Tax reform is not likely if you talk to the members out there," said Harbin. "You still have so many questions, and the biggest question is, if you want to go to a consumption tax, why do keep an income tax?"

A vote is expected as early as Monday.

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