Sen. Eric Johnson, chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, applauded the State Senate for passing legislation today that will grant Georgians the right to know which legislators have not filed their taxes annually.
“I am proud that the Senate decided on a process to identify and deal with tax dodgers. I hope by this time next year, no names are on the list,” said Johnson.
The Georgia State Constitution currently provides each legislative body an avenue to censure, fine, imprison or expel members of misconduct. However, confidentiality requirements under state law do not give the Department of Revenue the legal authority to release publically the names of legislators who avoid filing taxes.
Johnson’s amendment grants the Department of Revenue the legal authority to release such names to the Joint Legislative Ethics Commission or the House or Senate Ethics Committees. The committees can conduct an investigation of members of the General Assembly to consider if they have in fact committed misconduct by failing to file a Georgia personal income tax return. If the committees conduct a public hearing for the misconduct, the names will become public at that time.
Senate Press Office