Recommedations for new Georgia Tax Tribunal
10:52 am, November 26th, 2012
The governor’s Judicial Nominating Commission has recommended candidates for the newly created Georgia Tax Tribunal, which will handle taxpayers’ disputes with the state Department of Revenue.
The state Legislature approved the establishment of the independent tribunal under the executive branch via the passage of House Bill 100 last session.
The statutes governing the tribunal allow the governor to appoint at least one full-time administrative law judge—though possibly more—to hear cases from around the state. HB100 stated that if the governor selects only one judge for the tribunal, that judge shall serve a four-year term. If the governor appoints more than one, one judge shall serve a four-year term and the other a six-year term to ensure their terms don’t expire at the same time. Any successive terms will last four years.
The JNC’s recommended candidates for the tribunal are Charles Beaudrot, Jr., a partner at Morris, Manning & Martin; Jullian Fortuna, a tax partner at The Saylor Law Firm; and Frank O’Connell, the state Department of Revenue’s director of tax policy.
The JNC also has recommended short lists of candidates for three other trial court vacancies.
The open seats within the Bell-Forsyth and Piedmont Circuit Superior Courts were created by the passage last session of Senate Bill 356, which followed the Judicial Council of Georgia’s recommendation to add judges to those circuits because of case load and population growth.
The short-listed candidates for Bell-Forsyth are Forsyth County Solicitor-General Leslie Case Abernathy and Forsyth County State Court Chief Judge Philip Smith. The short-listed candidates for Piedmont are sole practitioner Wanda Barnett and McLocklin & Murphy managing partner Wayne McLocklin.
The JNC recommended only one candidate to fill the Putnam County State Court seat vacated by the appoint of Judge Trent Brown to the Ocmulgee Circuit Superior Court—Putnam County Solicitor-General R. Michael Gailey Jr., who is also a partner at The Gailey Law Firm.