By Howard Pousner
Georgians won’t be able to say this year whether they’re willing to support the arts with a small share of sales tax.
That idea, coming in a session that generated headlines about state funding of the arts, died Thursday night in the final minutes of the 2010 Georgia General Assembly.
House Bill 335 would have enabled every county in Georgia to put up for referendum a fractional sales tax of up to 1 cent for arts and culture, including zoos and other nonprofit attractions, and economic development initiatives.
The bill had passed out of conference committee earlier Thursday and was approved by the Senate around 11:45 p.m. But when it hit the House floor at 11:30 p.m., it drew an immediate objection. The legislation had not been on representatives’ desks for an hour, as House rules require, and the midnight deadline for all votes was rapidly approaching.
With that, a bill that had moved quietly since being introduced in early February, but