JFAC has voted 14-5 in favor of a budget motion for the state Tax Commission, defeating an alternative proposal from Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, that sought to send a message to the commission that its auditors are being too harsh on taxpayers. “There’s a fairly broad consensus that they’re heavy-handed in the way they approach their audits,” Vick said this morning. He said he was prompted by comments in the Senate when it just barely passed a supplemental appropriation for the commission, including Sen. Les Bock’s comment that when he was a tax attorney, he preferred working with the IRS to working with the state Tax Commission. Said Vick, “That tells me we are having a problem.”
SB 1103, the $200,000 supplemental appropriation for the Tax Commission, passed the Senate on Feb. 22 on an 18-16 vote; it’s awaiting a vote in the House, where it’s held its place on the House’s 3rd reading calendar for several days. Vick said he left that funding out of his motion for next year’s budget to send the commission a message.
However, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee voted 14-5 in favor of a motion from Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell, rather than Vick’s motion. Bolz’ motion is slightly below the governor’s recommendation, but recognizes the supplemental appropriation. Like the governor’s recommendation, it covers funding for upgrading the commission’s “Gen Tax” computer system.