As required by Georgia Code §45-12-75, the state must include a tax expenditure report in the Governor’s Budget Report. The Fiscal Research Center, as part of its mission to support the state legislature, prepares this report annually for the state and intends it to serve as a reference for policymakers, the media and the public.
Tax expenditures are provisions in the tax code that allow for special treatment of a source of income or certain type of expense. Such treatment usually results in a reduction in tax liability for the taxpayer—such as a credit or deduction. In principle, these tax benefits could be provided by direct governmental appropriation, so these provisions are referred to as “expenditures.” They represent tax revenues that would have been generated if not for this preferential treatment in the tax code. While direct expenditures for such items as education or transportation are reviewed annually with every budget, many tax expenditures are not often subject to periodic review, making their fiscal impact less obvious.
The Georgia Tax Expenditure Report contains FRC’s estimates for most of the state’s tax expenditures. The most recent edition, published in FY 2023 (published December 2021), can be found here. All prior editions (beginning with FY 2012, published December 2010) are housed by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, available here.