Category: News

Thoughts on the gas tax

The Tax Foundation has released a new report to help federal lawmakers figure out how to address transportation challenges. Some of the advice could also prove helpful to Georgia as we struggle with similar problems. From the Tax Foundation’s press release: If lawmakers decide to look for revenue instead of cutting trust fund spending, their source of revenue should be long-term and should connect drivers as closely to the cost of funding the roads as possible, according to the latest report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. One option is to increase the gas tax, adjust it to inflation, and offset that increase by reducing another tax by the same amount of revenue. Besides being revenue neutral, there are good policy… View Article

Update on Transportation Funding

Below is the current allocation of motor fuel taxes based on the four-year average price of motor fuel where the consumer pays 29.2 cents per gallon. Cents Per Gallon Revenue (in Millions) State Excise Tax 7.5 $450 State Sales Tax 10.2 $610 State Sales Tax (“4th Penny”) 3.4 $203 Local Sales Tax (based on $3.39 average retail price) 8.1 $488 29.2 $1,752 Below would be the allocation of motor fuel taxes based on the current version of the Transportation Funding Act (as of March 4) with the proposed amendment to reduce the state excise tax. This would convert most sales taxes on motor fuel to a state excise tax of 24 cents per gallon. Only SPLOST and ESPLOST sales taxes… View Article

Two Pro-Growth Tax Reform Plans Introduced

Two tax reform bills to lower Georgia’s income tax rate were introduced last week, but it is uncertain if any action will be taken this year. House Bill 435, sponsored by Reps. B.J. Pak and Brett Harrell, would broaden the personal income tax base by limiting itemized deductions and reduce the tax rate from 6 percent to 5.25 percent. Non-itemizers (66 percent of Georgia filers) would see no change in their deductions or taxable income, but would benefit from the rate reduction. Itemized deductions would be limited to charitable contributions (with no limit) and mortgage interest of up to $20,000. According to Bankrate.com, a new 30-year, $440,000 mortgage at a fixed 4.5 percent interest rate would have annual interest payments… View Article
The growing number of wineries in north Georgia are becoming a tourism success story. Visitors can tour the winery, sample the products and then buy a bottle, or a case, to take home. If you really like the wine, you can have up to 12 cases a year shipped to your home. Craft beer is the latest craze. Breweries are springing up all over the state of Georgia. While breweries are contributing to economic growth in many states, Georgia is being held back by antiquated laws and powerful special interests. Georgia is one of 5 states where breweries cannot sell beer directly to consumers. Brewers in Georgia simply want to be treated the same as Georgia wineries and breweries in… View Article
A bill introduced this month would modernize Georgia teachers’ pensions to be more in line with private-sector retirement plans. The proposal is modeled after the successful reform of Georgia’s pension plan for new state employees 7 years ago. Senate Bill 152, sponsored by Sen. Hunter Hill, would only apply to teachers hired after January 1, 2017.  These newly hired teachers would automatically be enrolled in a hybrid pension plan that combines a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k) plan, with a smaller traditional defined benefit component. This is exactly what happened with state employees in 2008 in response to a survey showing that state employees under age 30 earning less than $35,000 annually – who made up the… View Article

Climate Change Rules Could Be the Death of You

This op-ed by Heartland Institute Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/opinion/choose-the-vehicle-you-want/nj3TR/ Climate or Crash Risk in Your Vehicle Choice By H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.  Environmentalists are coming after your car — again. And what they don’t want you to know is their crusade, if successful, would result in a multitude of unnecessary deaths.  With the false promise of reduced dependence on foreign oil, environmental radicals convinced Congress to establish Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards beginning in 1975. CAFE standards required cars to meet federally mandated fuel economy targets or pay a hefty tax, a tax on gas guzzling sedans. The results? Many people switched to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Others, however, started driving… View Article
EVENT INVITATION December 2, 2014 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Celebrate National School Choice Week January 21, 2015 Atlanta – As you celebrate the Holiday Season, don’t forget to reserve your seat at the Georgia Public Foundation’s first event of 2015, a celebration of National School Choice Week. The Foundation’s 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, at Cobb County’s Georgian Club features keynote speaker Dr. Ben Scafidi on, “School Choice: The Next Frontier.” Dr. Scafidi is the state’s foremost education expert, a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Friedman Foundation, and ­the director of Kennesaw State University’s new Education Economics Center. This Leadership Breakfast, which is open to the… View Article
By Arthur C. Brooks Arthur C. BrooksPresidentAmerican Enterprise Institute MUCH is being written about the preposterously high cost of college. The median inflation-adjusted household income fell by 7 percent between 2006 and 2011, while the average real tuition at public four-year colleges increased over that period by over 18 percent. Meanwhile, the average tuition for just one year at a four-year private university in 2011 was almost $33,000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. College tuition has increased at twice the rate of health care costs over the past 25 years. Ballooning student loan debt, an impending college bubble, and a return on the bachelor’s degree that is flat or falling: all these things scream out for entrepreneurial… View Article

Savannah Tour Guides Sue to End Licensing Requirement

“We shouldn’t need a license to tell a story” The Institute for Justice and a coalition of current and would-be Savannah tour guides have filed a federal lawsuit over the city’s  licensing requirement. Below is the Institute’s news release: Savannah, Ga. – Tour guides are storytellers, and in America, you shouldn’t need a license to tell a story. But the city of Savannah disagrees, imposing a host of regulatory burdens on people who want to talk to paying tour groups. That’s why, today, a coalition of current and would-be Savannah tour guides has joined forces with the Institute for Justice to file a federal lawsuit seeking to vindicate an important First Amendment principle: The government cannot require a license to… View Article

The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)

Governor Nathan Deal more quotes