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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tax panel still not ready to reveal recommendations, which members have decided behind the scenes, like creepers

The 11-member panel tasked with overhauling Georgia's tax code says it needs until Monday to finalize its recommendations, most of which have been — [insert scary music] — ironed out behind the scenes. Via the Morris New Service's Walter Jones:

Council member Roy Fickling, a real estate developer from Macon, said the decisions have all been made although some final calculations remain before the final report is completed. Subcommittees assigned by Frazier hammered out each recommendation for consideration by the whole group, Fickling said, but the debates were kept out of view of the public.

"It was discussed, but you just can't get all together at one time and discuss it," he said.

Why not? "Because it would have to be done in an open meeting (under Georgia law)," he answered.

Council member Roger Tutterow, an economics professor at Mercer University, said the broad scope of the council's work made public discussion unworkable.

"We all have talked as individuals from time to time. That's the nature of this type of analysis," he said.

Panel members are, without a doubt, in a tough spot. We're sure there's a hilarious story about some Gold Dome lobbyist trying to argue why his or her client deserved to keep their hard-earned tax break. But a little sunshine never hurts, boys and girls!

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