Category: Uncategorized

Georgia Tech Ranked 4th Best Public College Investment in the Nation

10 Best Public Colleges Based on ROI Methodology   A new study by the website Payscale.com estimated the rate of return on investment in higher education for people who attended a wide array of U.S. colleges and universities. Of course, most in-state students at Georgia Tech (and our other research universities) are HOPE scholars, making the return on investment even better.… View Article

“Right on Crime” Message Resonating

Our “right on crime” message is resonating with elected officials. Speaker David Ralston addressed the subject earlier this month and Governor Nathan Deal made criminal justice a major part of his inaugural speech. From an interview with Speaker Ralston on January 6: “We’re going to have to start a discussion, I believe, about our policy in terms of how we incarcerate people in Georgia. I’m not sure where that discussion ultimately will lead to,” said Ralston, a one-time candidate for attorney general. We’re spending a huge amount of money locking people up that have drug problems. At some point the people of Georgia have a right to ask if that’s an appropriate way to spend their tax dollars.”… View Article

Personal vs. Professional Services (or why not tax lawyers?!)

Tax experts agree that the appropriate sales tax base should include all goods and services purchased by the final consumer, which also implies business purchases should be exempt. The challenge is applying these principles while considering practical and political realities. During the Tax Council's press conference, A.D. Frazier discussed the rationale used by the Council in determing what services to tax. He said they tried to minimize compliance costs for taxpayers. One way they did this was focusing on vendors who were already filing sales taxes because they sell some type of tangible property. For example, the service department at your local automobile dealership already charges sales tax on parts — it's not too difficult for them to add the… View Article

Simplifying the Tax Code

Simplicity was one of the goals of tax reform. The recommendations of the Tax Council make excellent progress in this respect. Unfortunately, the media has not reported these significant changes. In moving the income tax to a "flat tax," most exemptions and deductions are removed and six tax brackets are collapsed into one flat rate. Other than simple tables for low-income families to lookup their tax credit and some minor adjustments to federal adjusted gross income for a small number of taxpayers, only a few lines would be necessary for the majority of filers. Remember Dick Armey promising you could file your income taxes on a post card? Sales tax exemptions for business inputs get a major simplification. (There is… View Article

Tax Increase or Not?

It's too early to tell if the Tax Council's recommendations will result in a tax increase. The Council says their aim was to be revenue neutral, but the report (probably due to the lack of some critical information) makes it seem otherwise. There are three calculations missing from the Tax Council's report: 1) The report calls for fewer Georgia-specific adjustments to federal adjusted gross income. How much will this broaden the personal income tax base? 2) The report calls for eliminating all exemptions and deductions except for a dependent exemption of $2,000. How much will this broaden the personal income tax base? 3) The report calls for tax credits designed to offset the loss of exemptions, deductions and the tax… View Article

First Reaction to the Tax Council Recommendations

While some may quibble with the details, and some adjustments will certainly be made, if enacted, the Tax Council’s pro-growth tax reforms will make Georgia a national model. Expect many states to follow our lead in the near future. The recommendation creates a true flat tax on income and incrementally shifts revenues to a broad retail sales tax. Both income and consumption would be taxed at a low rate of 4 percent and the tax code would be simplified. Expanded targeted tax credits would protect low-income senior citizens and families. While we would hope that a tax increase is not necessary, the Council’s mandate was to recommend the best possible tax base — what we tax and how we tax… View Article

Right on Crime Sees Georgia as Ready for Reform

Atlanta – Right on Crime, a nationwide criminal justice reform initiative, today launched a state-based effort in Georgia to educate policy-makers about the commonsense corrections system reforms that have safely contained prison costs in states like Texas. The announcement comes in advance of Georgia’s Criminal Justice Reform Council releasing its recommendations for the Legislature in November 2011. Kelly McCutchen, President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation “Today, almost a half million people are under correctional control in Georgia, costing the state more than $1 billion annually,” said Kelly McCutchen, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and a Right on Crime signatory. “The Criminal Justice Reform Council and the Georgia State legislature will need to take bold steps to transform… View Article

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Sticks With Business Leader To Run Nation’s Largest Public School System

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made billions in business, is absolutely consistent about whom he thinks should run the city’s public school system:  Business people.   Bloomberg proved that again Tuesday when he chose former Hearst magazines Chairwoman Cathleen P. Black to succeed Chancellor Joel Klein, who is leaving New York City schools for a job as executive vice president at News Corporation, the media goliath owned by Rupert Murdoch. New York City is the nation’s largest school system.  It has a $23 billion annual budget, 135,000 employees and some 1 million students.  That $23 billion annual budget is more than three times greater than the Georgia Department of Education’s $7.4 billion operating budget this fiscal year. Klein… View Article

Positive Outcomes of the ’08 Legislative Session

By Kelly McCutchen Those who watched this year’s legislative session as they would a hockey game – waiting for the fight – were not disappointed. Going in, the focus was a “WETT” session: water, education, taxes and transportation. But beneath the political theatre, the final score indicates a victory for good public policy. The border war with Tennessee stole water headlines, but in the undercurrent Georgia gained a statewide water management plan, significant new funding and enabling legislation to encourage the construction of new reservoirs. Businesses gained consistency when legislation passed prohibiting tougher local restrictions on outdoor watering during drought than the state’s, with an appeal mechanism for local governments to opt out of the state restrictions. And the Legislature… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has forged over the years many positive changes in Georgia, in its nonpartisan but very specific way.

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson more quotes