A handful of lawmakers in Georgia have filed legislation to exempt sworn law enforcement officers from paying state income taxes.
House Bill 992 was filed on Wednesday by Republican State Representatives Rick Williams, Bill Hitchens, Matthew Gambill, Alan Powell, and Stan Gunter. Hitchens previously served as the Colonel of the Georgia State Patrol and his son, Billy Hitchens, is now second in command for the agency. Rep. Gunter previously served as the Executive Director of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia and Powell previously served as the Chair of the House Public Safety Committee.
The single-page bill, which has been assigned to the House Ways & Means committee, calls for full exemption of the Peach State’s income tax payments for law enforcement officers charged with “enforcing criminal laws and exercising the power of arrest,” so long as the individual continues to pay his or her federal income taxes.
The bill calls for application to municipal, county, and state officers. From small town police departments to agents with the Georgia Bureau Investigation all would be exempt law enforcement officers free of state income taxes.
A similar bill was filed in Kentucky two weeks ago. The sponsor of that bill said the intent was to make law enforcement careers ‘more attractive.’ “People have stopped … becoming police officers,” State Rep. Ryan Dotson said. “So, we’re trying to incentivize people who go into and stay in that line of work by passing something that will appeal to them financially.” Missouri considered a similar bill in 2020.
Governor Kemp has already announced his desire to exempt military compensation from state income taxes.
If approved, the House Bill 992 would take effect for the 2023 tax year.