State senators might be punished for not paying taxes

ATLANTA - A state senator wants to change rules in his chamber to penalize senators who haven't paid their taxes.

Nineteen legislators - including three senators - are delinquent on their tax bills, according to a report from the state Department of Revenue. Some of the past-due taxes date back to 2002.

Sen. Eric Johnson, a Savannah Republican, said he's pushing legislation that would require that lawmakers in the chamber be current on their tax bills. If they aren't, they could face disciplinary action, including removal from the Senate.

Johnson, chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, said the change is designed to go after elected officials who think they are tax-exempt.

In the state House, Rep. Joe Wilkinson said he's asked legal counsel to determine whether violators can be punished under existing law.



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