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Posted: March 4, 2009 4:51 p.m.

Senate targets tax delinquents

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Senate leaders are pushing a change that would allow the chamber to sanction or oust legislators who haven't paid their taxes.

It comes as a Department of Revenue report revealed that 22 lawmakers are delinquent on their tax bills, some owing taxes that date as far back as 2002. That's roughly 10 percent of Georgia's 236 state lawmakers.

Sen. Eric Johnson, the measure's sponsor, said the goal was not to embarrass lawmakers but to send a message to the public that lawmakers "do what we ask them to do - and that is pay our taxes."

State Rep. Joe Wilkinson, meanwhile, said he's asked legal counsel to determine whether violators can be punished under existing law.


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