Perdue looking for ways to avert tax hikes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Perdue looking for ways to avert tax hikes

^ Governor Perdue ^ Governor Perdue

January 21, 2003

(Atlanta-AP) -- Governor Perdue ordered state departments heads to day to look for budget savings that might allow him to back away from his plan to raise liquor and tobacco taxes.

Perdue's plans also includes other steps that would trigger an increase in property taxes.

He said today he has "stepped up to the plate" and "taken the heat" on what he says the facts of the budget are. Perdue says he's open to ideas that would allow the government to operate in a way that would not put what he calls "undue pain" on the citizens of Georgia.

Perdue proposed the taxes last week, just three days after taking office as the first Republican chief executive in 130 years. He says the measures will help offset a $620 million revenue downturn.

But Perdue has assured lawmakers he will work with them if they can find reasonable alternatives to raising taxes. Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they will take him up on the offer.

Budget hearings are beginning today at the Capitol -- with the Legislature in recess to allow time for that work.

posted at 10:05AM by dave.miller@walb.com