25 organizations including trade unions, academic groups, youth organizations and a political party issued an appeal to the State Constitutional Commission on April 22 requesting revocation of Article 94 of the Constitution, which allows the introduction and the increase of state tax (except for excise tax) only through a referendum.
The Social-Democrats for the Development of Georgia, which has a six-member faction within the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia parliamentary majority group, is among the signatories of the appeal.
The organizations consider Article 94 as “unacceptable” and urge the members of the State Constitutional Commission to use "the historical opportunity and reject the clause that is directed against the people.”
“No country in the world has restrictions on raising taxes coded in their constitution,” the document reads. “It is widely agreed that a democratic constitution, the fundamental document of the unity of the state, should not enshrine a particular economic policy; discussions on economic policy and taxation are part of the ongoing political process,” the organizations wrote.
“[The clause] limits the ability of the Parliament to have a comprehensive plan of economic development and to redistribute resources efficiently and justly,” they also added.
The State Constitutional Commission, consisting of 73 members, among them experts and representatives of seven political parties, government agencies and non-governmental organizations, was established on December 15 and was tasked to offer its recommendations by April 30, 2017. The final meeting of the Commission was held on April 22.