Quotes of Note
“The professional licensing industry is filled with much more intrigue than one may assume. Regulation is often the product of a chummy relationship between elected officials and those in business who want to cut down on their competition to maximize profits. Every year, parades of people representing a variety of vocations travel to state capitols across the nation asking for their fields to be licensed and regulated.” – Scott Reeder
“[W]e have a criminal-justice system with too many opportunities for generating defendants, too few inhibitions on prosecutors, and ongoing corrosion of the rule and morality of law. Congress, the ultimate cause of all this, has work to undo.” – George Will
“America is a land of taxation that was founded to avoid taxation.” – Laurence J. Peter
May 14: Secretary of State Brian Kemp keynotes the Foundation’s 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. Topic: “License to Work,” a focus on jobs, licensing and the role of government. Register here.
June 23-25: The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism’s Sixth Annual IHC Forum & Expo in Atlanta highlights the innovations and changes in health and benefits. Register by May 31 and save $100 with the early bird rate.
October 15: Mark your calendar! The sixth annual Legislative Policy Forum, co-hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute, takes place Thursday, October 15 at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta hotel. Details to follow; review the 2014 Forum here.
Tax and spending
Tax man’s budget woes: The Internal Revenue Service says the 19 percent decline in IRS criminal investigations in fiscal 2014 occurred because its budget and staff were cut. Source: Accounting Today
By the numbers: The Tax Foundation released, “State and Local Sales Tax Rates in 2015” this week, confirming that differences in sales tax rates cause consumers to shop across borders or buy products online. The lowest non-zero, state-level sales tax is in Colorado, which has a rate of 2.9 percent. Seven states follow with 4 percent rates: Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, South Dakota and Wyoming.
States take the wheel: Georgia is not alone. Nearly two dozen states have taken steps to raise transportation revenue this year and 110 transportation funding bills await action in 26 state legislatures, reported ARTBA’s State Transportation Funding Initiatives Report . See also T4America’s survey, “State Legislation to Raise Transportation Revenue.” Source: Kenneth Orski
Rich States, Poor States: Georgia ranks No. 7 in the nation in economic competitiveness, according to, “Rich States, Poor States,” released this week by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Utah earned the top ranking; the bottom five were New Jersey, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and New York.
It’s complicated: The economy lost $233.8 billion due to 6.1 billion hours (an estimated value of $202.1 billion) and $31.7 billion in out-of-pocket costs spent complying with a complex and invasive tax code, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s (NTUF) study of tax code complexity.
This month in the archives: In April 1995, the Foundation published, “Should Georgia Adopt Early Voting?” It noted, “[E]arly voting is not a solution to the continuing problem of declining turnout in our elections.”
YouTube: Go here to watch the video of the Charles Koch Institute’s criminal justice reform event in Atlanta, “From State in Crisis to Reform Leader;” Kelly McCutchen was a panelist. Watch panelist reviews here and audience reaction here.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “2015 Legislative Session: Opportunities Taken and Missed,” by Kelly McCutchen.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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