House Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Johns Creek) confirmed Tuesday that legislation to put the state’s 4 percent sales tax back on food is dead.
On Monday, House Republicans said they expected the bill would get a debate on the House floor, probably Thursday.
But once the proposal hit the AJC, all heck broke loose on blogs, on the radio, and elsewhere from Georgians objecting to the idea.
Under the plan, Georgians who file state income tax returns would have gotten a credit to make up for paying the grocery tax. Visitors to Georgians and illegal immigrants and others who don’t file state income tax returns would have paid the tax and not gotten the credit.
Still, it was politically a tough sell. One lawmaker said House Republican members were asked what they thought of the plan, and many didn’t like it.
“It certainly drew a lot of attention,” Burkhalter told the AJC Tuesday afternoon.
“Many want to try to see a way to recapture lost revenue the state is not getting from transients and illegal immigrants,” he said. “We still need to find a way to have them pay taxes in this state.
“But this is not good policy to eliminate a long-standing exemption on food and we have no intention whatsoever of eliminating an exemption and thus raising any taxes.”