It's about time.
While the state employees will cost another $2.2 million a year, their hire represents a good investment. Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham said the agents will pay for themselves within four months, which makes this move a no-brainer.
Graham told reporters that over the past six years, the department has collected more than $600 million in back taxes.
Businesses and individuals that fail to pay their fair share in state taxes unfairly burden other Georgians, when lawmakers have to cut services or increase the general tax rates.
In fact, delinquent taxes represent a fair treasure trove.
The Revenue Department's website includes a 2,000-page list of businesses and a 3,000-page list of individuals who owe back taxes. ...
The DOR website indicates these are outstanding debts - and these and the others on the lists are just the ones the state knows about.
The new tax agents should be helpful in getting the known tax scofflaws to pay up, and in ferreting out other businesses with past-due tax bills.
The Revenue Department can focus new resources on collection in part because of legislation passed in 2009 and effective this year, which requires more businesses to file electronically.
Increased efficiency means the tax agency can worry less about handling office paper and more about seeking out paper of the green variety.
The department should continue to seek out such tech-driven efficiencies, as well as expanding cooperation with local governments. Better information-sharing is critical.