Viewpoint: When will taxes be reformed?

One of the loudest debates at the state capitol this year was supposed to be over tax reform. We're listening, but we've barely heard a word.

Lawmakers promised a long overdue overhaul of Georgia's tax code. An independent commission spent a year studying the issue. They made recommendations about how to make Georgia's tax system more equitable while increasing revenue.

Those recommendations included re-instating the state sales tax on groceries and raising the cigarette tax. The General Assembly was no under no mandate to do either of those things, but the proposals were apparently enough to scare lawmakers into silence.

The Governor and Lt. Governor have both already backed off tax reform, saying it doesn't need to be done this year. But if lawmakers don't have the guts to tackle it this year, right after they all got elected, why should we believe they'll take it on next year when they're all running for re-election again?

The fact is, they won't do it then either, and Georgia will continue to operate under an outdated system that gives too many tax breaks to too many special interest groups.

We elect our leaders to MAKE tough decisions, but too many of them spend their time and energy AVOIDING tough decisions, even when it ends up hurting the state.