Tag: Taxes

AJC: State could become a national model

As printed in Sunday's AJC: Atlanta Forward / Another View: State could become a national model By Kelly McCutchen Some may quibble with details, and adjustments will certainly be made, but enacting the Tax Council’s pro-growth tax reforms will make Georgia a national model and could not come at a better time. The proposals would create a true flat tax on income and modestly shift revenues to a broader retail sales tax. Both income and consumption would be taxed at a low rate of 4 percent and the tax code would be greatly simplified. Targeted tax credits would protect low-income senior citizens and families. Gov. Nathan Deal’s balanced budget requires no tax increase, clearing the way for the tax… View Article

Georgia Needs a Lone Star State of Mind

Georgia Needs a Lone Star State of Mind  By Kelly McCutchen Jobs, jobs, jobs. That's the mantra from nearly every elected official these days, from President Obama to Governor Deal. But do government policies really have on impact job creation? And if so, what should states like Georgia be doing? Can government create jobs? Certainly, but every dollar spent by government is a dollar taken out of the private economy, where it most likely could be put to better use. "More focus should be on incentives for people and businesses to invest, produce and work," says Harvard economist Robert Barro. "On the tax side, we should avoid programs that throw money at people and emphasize instead reductions in marginal… View Article

Wall Street Journal: Georgia Tax Plan is the Anti-Illinois

The editorial page of today's Wall Street Journal praised Georgia's proposed tax reform plan as "The Anti-Illinois." It praised the plan for following "the first principle of a sound and fair tax system: Apply a low rate to a broad base" and encouraged the state to move toward reducing income tax rates to zero to compete with Florida and Texas. Excerpts of the editorial are below: The genius of American federalism is that states can choose to walk off a policy cliff—or not. Illinois has just raised taxes, but Georgia may be moving in the opposite direction by cutting taxes to make the state a more attractive destination for workers and business. A bipartisan tax commission chartered last year by… View Article

Misuse of Fees Weakens Trust in Government

And we wonder why trust in government is on the decline. James Salzer has a great article in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution exposing how the state has been diverting fee revenues to balance the budget. These are the types of actions that erode the public's confidence in government. Choosing to extend the tolls on Georgia 400 without much public debate was another recent example. Once the economy recovers, these fee revenues should be returned and steps taken to protect these funds going forward. … 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
By Eric Tresh Communications service providers offer voice, video and Internet access services to customers throughout Georgia. These services are provided by a number of different types of companies using a variety of broadband technologies. For example, telecommunications, satellite and Internet companies now offer video programming service. In addition, cable providers often have subsidiaries that provide voice services and a number of companies use the Internet to provide audio and video conferencing services. These services all benefit consumers and enhance productivity throughout the state. In addition to the benefits for consumers, broadband services are significant drivers of Georgia’s economy. Broadband providers invest hundreds of millions of dollars each year into Georgia’s economy, creating jobs and enhancing infrastructure. While technology has… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has hit another homerun with its Guide to the Issues. This is must reading for anyone interested in public policy in Georgia, and it is an outstanding road map for conservative, common sense solutions to our challengers of today and tomorrow.

Former Georgia Senate Minority Leader Chuck Clay more quotes