Tax Reform Bill Vote Delayed

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ATLANTA - House and Senate leaders have agreed to delay a vote on a sweeping tax reform bill until they can work out differences between the two chambers.

They will not meet again in session until April 11.

House leaders acknowledged problems with the tax reform bill, including an oversight that could have turned a promised income tax cut into a tax increase for some middle-income families.

They scrambled quickly to correct that oversight. Senate leaders want to pay for some of that by phasing in proposed energy tax credits for businesses. Both chambers have been struggling to reach a compromise agreement that would allow tax reform to move forward.

But both sides on Thursday said they felt more comfortable that they would be successful.

"I wouldn't say everyone is happy," Sen. Don Balfour, R-Gwinnett, told Channel 2's Richard Elliot. "But I'm feeling more confident today than I ever have that the income tax numbers look better."

The plan includes a proposed reduction of the state income tax from 6 percent to 4.5 percent, something House leaders said is crucial to turning around the state's financial fortunes.

"I've never seen a more open and transparent initiative than this," said Rep. Larry O'Neal, the House Majority Leader. "It's that important that the entire state of Georgia has the opportunity to understand the simplification and flattening of its own tax code."