Georgia foregoes hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenues annually through special tax breaks designed to spur economic growth, and state legislators want to know if those incentives are actually working.
A group of senators started work this week on evaluating the dozens of tax exemptions that legislators have approved over the years.
These legislators plan to assess the effectiveness of existing programs and develop a more thorough process for evaluating new proposals moving forward.
“We’re certainly not doubting each and every person who wants to come up and do something to help their local community or their industry sector — whatever it happens to be,” said Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, who is chairing the study committee.
“However, for us to be good fiduciaries of the state, we want to have all the information we possibly can,” he added.
The General Assembly passed several new incentives just this year, including tax breaks for music production companies that do work in Georgia, businesses that invest in small downtowns and financial companies that loan money to rural businesses.
The 10 or so tax breaks that passed are expected to cost the state as much as $483 million in lost revenue over five years, according to a Georgia Budget and Policy Institute report issued after the session.
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