ATLANTA (Aug. 24, 2009) – State Senator Eric Johnson (R-Savannah) issued the following statement today regarding legislators who had failed to file their state income taxes:
“Earlier this year, the Georgia Department of Revenue provided the House and Senate Ethics Committee with a list of state legislators who had failed to file their state income taxes. The bi-partisan list included 19 legislators, three of which were Senators. Some on the list had refused to file for multiple years. Unfortunately, due to confidentiality laws, the names were redacted and could not be released.
As Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, I was outraged. I believe that politicians that tell you to pay your taxes should pay theirs. As a result, we passed a law that requires the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue to release a report providing the names of non-filers to the Ethics Committees of both the House and the Senate. We wanted to ensure that we could deal with our members swiftly and appropriately, including removal from office if necessary.
I am pleased to announce that the new law has worked in the State Senate. We can now certify that every Senator has paid their taxes. Our citizens expect no less, and it is sad that the threat of transparency and exposure was needed to get certain members to do the right thing.”
Sen. Eric Johnson of the 1st Senate district serves as the chairman of the Ethics Committee. He represents Bryan County and portions of Chatham and Liberty counties. He may be reached at 404.656.5109 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Immediate Release:
August 24, 2009
For Information Contact:
Raegan Weber, Director