Category: Taxes

It’s Time to Clean Up the Property Tax Mess

By Jerry R. Griffin, Executive Director Association County Commissioners Of Georgia The following article is reprinted with permission from the March 1999 edition of Georgia County Government Magazine, published by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, the 85-year-old education, training and legislative advocacy organization of all 159 Georgia county governments. ACCG may be reached on the Web or by writing 50 Hurt Plaza, Suite 1000, Atlanta, Georgia 30303. Every year hundreds of bills and resolutions are introduced to fix the property tax. So often a bill will focus on a very small section of the law and when examined carefully it is discovered that, rather than fixing a problem, it creates new problems. Part of the problem results from legislators… View Article
Roy Barnes and Guy Millner have each proposed using state funds to reduce property taxes on homeowners. Both proposals are relatively straight forward. Barnes proposes adding a new homestead exemption of $20,000, which would be in addition to the existing homestead exemptions, and would be phased in over time. The state would reimburse local gov- ernments for the loss in property tax revenue. Millner proposes an income tax credit equal to 20 percent of a homeowner’s property taxes, up to a maximum credit of $500. The cost of these two proposals differ. We estimate that the Barnes proposal, when fully phased in, will cost the state government between $610 and $630 million per year, while the Millner proposal will cost… View Article

A Georgia Sales Tax For the 21st Century

Roy Bahl & Richard Hawkins Fiscal Research Program School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University Executive Summary The sales tax has some significant advantages for Georgians, and voters seem to prefer new sales taxes to increases in income or property taxes. One advantage is the relatively small liability per transaction. Many Georgians have no idea how much sales tax they pay over the course of a year. Additional advantages include the fact that taxpayers understand the structure of the sales tax, the sales tax reaches virtually everyone and the state collects tax revenue from consumers who live in other states (e.g., tourists). With respect to its disadvantages, tax payments are not deductible from the federal income tax (while income and… View Article
Dr. Laura A. Wheeler Fiscal Research Program School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University Executive Summary The state of Virginia’s recent action to reduce the property tax on motor vehicles has generated interest in several states, including Georgia. Currently, 28 states tax motor vehicles; in 12 states the tax is imposed by local governments, while in 16 the state imposes a uniform tax.… View Article
Barbara M. Edwards Fiscal Research Program School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University Executive Summary The individual income tax generated over 45 percent of Georgia’s 1997 tax revenue, making it the largest single source of revenue for the state. While there are differences across states in the structure of income taxes, Georgia’s income tax is typical of the 41 states that levy an income tax on a broad definition of income. Georgia bases its tax on the federal adjusted gross income, as do most other states, and has deductions, exemptions and a rate structure that are consistent with other states. There have been various calls for changes in the state income tax, largely driven by a desire to reduce taxes.… View Article

Should the Corporate Income Tax be Repealed?

By Martin F. Grace Georgia, like most of her sister states, has a corporate income tax. The corporate income tax was first introduced in Georgia in 1929. The rate has always been a flat proportional rate, fluctuating up and down during the years within the range of 4 percent and 7.5 percent. The present rate of 6 percent has not changed since 1969. The corporate franchise tax, levied on net worth, is administered in conjunction with the corporate income tax. In 1997, these two taxes constituted approximately 6.91 percent of the state’s tax revenues. However, this percentage fluctuates from year to year and has decreased over the past number of years. In 1997, corporations paid $729.5 million in these two… View Article
By Dr. Steve Morse Executive Summary In 1994, the Governor’s Development Council created Georgia’s Business Expansion Support Team (B.E.S.T.) for the purpose of attracting new companies to Georgia and helping existing Georgia businesses expand. To support the Georgia B.E.S.T. program, the 1994 Georgia General Assembly passed the Georgia Business Expansion and Support Act, authorizing tax incentives to attract businesses to Georgia and allow the state to more effectively compete in the multi-state bidding wars with neighboring states Alabama and South Carolina. Supporters of tax incentives argue that Georgia must offer concessions at least equal to neighboring states or risk losing new business and job creation opportunities. View Article

Let’s Return Real Fiscal Authority to the States

Dr. Dwight Lee [Editor’s Note: This speech was presented at the 1995 Georgia Tax and Budget Conference on April 5, 1995.] It’s a pleasure to be here at the Georgia Tax and Budget Conference. I want to thank the Tax Foundation and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation for inviting me to participate. I’ve been asked to give a wrap-up of the conference and to talk about the road ahead. Although much of the discussion at this conference has been on taxes and spending at the state level, I would like to shift the emphasis a little bit by arguing that one cannot fully grasp what’s happening at the state level regarding taxes and spending unless one first considers the fiscal… View Article
By U.S. Representative Bill Archer An Agenda for the Next Century As the year 2000 draws near, we must develop an agenda for the next century. We must rethink the way government does its job – and be willing to investigate bold changes to those things which are incompatible with the new reality of the U.S. in a global marketplace. In today’s world, our nation’s income tax has become a liability. I believe that the time has come to tear the income tax out by its roots and implement a whole new way of raising federal revenues. In the Ways and Means Committee hearings, we have begun the process of developing a new design of federal taxation which would meet… View Article
By Senator Sam Nunn I have come to the conclusion that it is time to scrap the current individual and corporate income tax and replace it with a new tax system that works. What do I mean by a tax system that works? I mean a tax system that encourages saving and investment – the keys to economic growth. I mean a system that is fair and understandable and that reduces the cost of compliance. I mean a system that is attuned to international competitive realities. And I mean a tax system that is fiscally responsible. Senator Pete Domenici and I have designed and introduced a new tax proposal that we believe goes far toward meeting these criteria. We call… 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