Special to the Enterprise
The Georgia Supreme Court has unanimously reversed in part and vacated in part the state’s local option sales tax law, saying that the procedure used to settle differences violates the separation of powers doctrine and declaring it unconstitutional.
Writing for the court, Justice Benham gave an extensive history of the LOST statute and then turned to consideration of the key question: whether the judicial resolution procedure of the LOST statute violates the separation of powers doctrine in the Georgia constitution.
The court explained that the procedure does in fact violate the separation of powers doctrine and found that portion of the LOST statute unconstitutional. A legislative amendment passed in 2010 which allowed the superior court to resolve the question of tax distribution allows judicial resolution of an exclusively legislative power — the power to tax — the court said.