Category: Taxes

(Corrected version to reflect that SPN was established in 1992 and 150 organizations attended the 2014 SPN conference.) By Benita Dodd When the State Policy Network was established in 1992, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was one of just 12 independent, free-market, state-focused think tanks around the nation. Its leaders could have met in someone’s garage. Twenty-two years later, the movement has grown and flourishes. At the SPN annual conference in Denver last week (September 23-26) 900 attendees from 150 organizations representing all 50 states met to strategize approaches on free-market, limited government solutions to public policy. If you haven’t heard of SPN, the think tanks’ “umbrella,” visit to find out more. You can be sure the big-government, anti-free… View Article

Are Tax Cuts Working in Kansas?

This  article was published in Reason magazine on July 28, 2014. By A Republican member of the New York State Assembly emails: “I read a number of breathless articles about the ‘failure’ of tax cuts in Kansas.  … My concern is that the Left is winning the PR war on these tax cuts and will use this Kansas example against every governor who tries to reduce taxes if there is no push-back now. What are your thoughts on the Kansas tax cuts?” Great question, assemblyman. “Breathless” is exactly the word to describe the critics of the Kansas tax cuts, and indeed there are a number of them. For a flavor of the argument, one could check out a… View Article
For more information on the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum and to register, click here or copy this link and paste in your browser window. By Benita M. Dodd For the fifth year in a row, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute will bring game-changing, market-oriented, limited-government reforms ideas to the state at the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum in Atlanta on September 19. The daylong Forum, which had an attendance in 2013 of about 250 Georgians – legislators, legislative staff, grassroots activists, policy-makers and interested citizens – has been described as “the opening act of the General Assembly.” For the past four years, the theme was, “Wisdom, Justice and Innovation,” a step beyond… View Article
Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd recently recorded three segments of “This Week in Blairsville” with WJRB radio host Patrick Malone.  Benita and Patrick discussed Georgia Public Policy Foundation priorities that include limiting government, helping taxpayers keep their dollars and encouraging individual responsibility.  “We believe that government has grown entirely too large,” Dodd said. Each program was recorded in two segments. First program: environment and transportation. Segment One Segment Two Second program: education and criminal justice reform. Segment One Segment Two Third program: taxation and government spending. Segment One Segment Two View Article

Taxes Do Matter to Migration

By Jonathan Williams, Will Freeland and Ben Wilterdink The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) recently released a new study that purports to show that state taxes have a negligible effect on the decisions of Americans to migrate from one state to another. The study criticizes research done by Dr. Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams in the yearly publication, “Rich States, Poor States,” and other publications that arrive at the conclusion that states should seek to adopt competitive tax and fiscal policies as a way of promoting economic growth.   The author of the CBPP report fundamentally misinterprets what the data really means and/or grossly misrepresents the actual position taken by advocates of lower state taxes. For the… View Article
By Jeffrey Dorfman Thanks to Thomas Piketty and his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the topic of the day in political discussions is income inequality. What is most fascinating about this discussion is how many of the facts and commonly accepted wisdoms employed to support the arguments in this debate are wrong. This column will point out some of the main ones, so that at least we can have a debate based on a common set of (hopefully correct) facts. As a quick summary, here are the actual facts: spendable income inequality is not increasing, increased capital is not bad for labor, wealth is not a zero sum game, and high income taxes do not necessarily lead to a… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia’s rainy day fund – Revenue Shortfall Reserve in government speak – could approach the $1 billion mark this year – a long way back from where the account found itself during recession when rainy day funds paid real bills and nearly exhausted the state’s operating surplus.  The high water mark was $1.544 billion in Fiscal 2007. Georgia’s reserve account took a shocking almost $1 billion hit from Fiscal 2007 – 2008 which coincided with the second recession of the decade.  Most economists generally place the second recession as early 2008 through mid-2009 and the federal government maintains the economy has been in an upturn for almost five years, albeit a slow upturn. Governor Sonny Perdue’s administration… View Article

Tax Policy Trails the Campaign Trail

By Benita M. Dodd With the April 15 tax filing deadline imminent, the Tax Foundation sent out its perennial reminder of Tax Freedom Day, the day Americans have collectively paid off their federal, state and local taxes and can begin to work for themselves.  Unfortunately for Georgians, Tax Freedom Day comes three days later than it was last year: April 12. Georgia is also well behind the first in line and lags all its neighbors but North Carolina: In Louisiana, it’s March 30. It’s no surprise that taxes scarcely raised their Hydra head in the 2013-2014 Georgia legislative session that ended March 20. As with so many other potential controversies, legislators kept tax policy below the radar as they raced… View Article
(This article was published on and is reprinted with permission by the author.) By Jeffrey Dorfman President Obama and the Democrats continue to push for an increase in the minimum wage. Against much evidence that such a law is very ineffective at reducing poverty, the administration is still touting the benefits they claim would help millions of workers. Yet, it turns out that, for the sort of worker about whom we should be most concerned, such a policy actually benefits the federal government more than the worker. That’s right. As I will show below, a hypothetical single mom with one kid would see more than half of the proposed minimum wage increase offset by a reduction in benefits from… View Article
This year Senate and House legislators have passed three bills that use different approaches but share a common goal, that states should be able to compel the federal government to operate within a balanced budget.  The Compact for America approach passed as House Bill 794 would bring participating states together at a convention to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment. Action by the convention would not by itself compel the federal government to live within a balanced budget.  Congress would be required to act on the proposed amendment and states would be required to ratify the language.  Goldwater Institute constitutional scholar Nick Dranias explained the balanced budget constitutional amendment approach at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s February 26 Leadership Breakfast… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a driving force for market-based solutions to policy challenges. The work done by this outstanding organization is making a real impact on the future of Georgia. I personally consider the Foundation a primary source for policy ideas. All Georgians are better off because the Foundation is helping lead the critical policy debates in our state.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers more quotes