Will Georgia become the sixth state to have a Tax Court within the judicial branch?

Welcome TaxProf Blog readers!

A subcommittee of the Georgia House Judiciary (Civil) Committee will meet on August 24 to consider the creation of a Tax Court in the state. Under HB 100 of 2011 the court would be in place for 10 years as a pilot project and have concurrent jurisdiction with the Superior Court on matters related to the Department of Revenue. Unlike in many states which require constitutional amendments to create altogether new courts, the Georgia Constitution allows the legislature to create such pilot project courts, but requires a two-thirds vote for their creation (Article VI, Section I, Paragraph X).

Five other states have separate courts to handle such tax issues: trial-type or level courts in Arizona, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Oregon and a specialized intermediate appellate court in Indiana. “Tax courts” in other states are executive branch or administrative agencies that perform quasi-judicial functions but are not formally parts of the judicial branch, such as in Maryland and Minnesota.