Category: Taxes

Georgia Business Climate Ranks #32

The Tax Foundation’s 2014 edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare. Georgia ranks 32nd highest, scoring in the top ten in the corporate tax category, but in the bottom ten in the individual income tax category. North Carolina, currently ranked 44th, is projected to move to as high as 17th as their recent tax reforms take effect. Florida is ranked 5th, South Carolina 37th, Alabama 21st and Tennessee 15th.… View Article

America’s Longest War: The War on Poverty

  By Benita M. Dodd Fifty years ago this month – on January 8, 1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson announced an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” Considering the money spent on poverty-related programs in the ensuing half century – $16 trillion, according to the Cato Institute – and the percentage of Americans still listed as poor, it’s time to concede defeat, change strategy or redefine poverty. Conceding defeat against poverty is unacceptable, of course. But redefining poverty means building a better safety net, not opening a bigger umbrella, as President Obama is expected to propose in his State of the Union Address this month. He’s expected to dramatize income inequality – the gap between the “rich” and… View Article
An article in The Atlanta Business Chronicle edition of November 22-28, 2013, cites the Foundation’s work on tax reform in 2013. Headlined, “Discussion beginning on Georgia tax changes,” the article quotes Kelly McCutchen, Foundation president, and Christine Ries, Foundation Senior Fellow. http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2013/11/22/discussion-beginning-on-georgia-tax.html Leslie Johnson, Contributing Writer Progress on tax reform legislation in Georgia may not be around the corner, but that hasn’t stopped discussion on the subject and pushes to move forward. One of the issues at the heart of the debate is the state’s income tax. Proponents of lowering or eliminating it say doing so would make a huge difference to Georgia’s economy. Kelly McCutcheon, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, explained to a Georgia… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen It’s a pleasant surprise to see the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute oppose a tax increase, but entirely understandable that the organization would oppose as bad policy any tax plan that raises taxes on 80 percent of Georgians. It is disappointing, however, to see the institute latch onto implausible scenarios and let go of an opportunity to discuss realistic tax reform plans. Georgia is a fiscally conservative state. Anyone who suggests that elected officials would even consider a plan to raise taxes on most Georgia families or to run multi-billion dollar deficits has to be politically naïve – or academically disingenuous. A recent report by the organization does just that: It uses unrealistic, extreme assumptions for dramatic… View Article
By Jonathan Small and Dave Bond From 2004 through 2009, Oklahoma’s personal income tax – the amount the state penalizes citizens and job creators for the right to earn a living – was lowered more than 20 percent. Over this period of time, the top marginal rate dropped, in a series of four reductions, from 7.00 percent to 5.50 percent. With each drop in the rate, many individuals and organizations in favor of higher government spending worked against the income tax cuts. They claimed income tax cuts would result in less revenue for state government programs. Even the Oklahoma Tax Commission estimated, with each new income tax cut, that the state would see a loss in revenue. What actually transpired… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia’s track record as a low-tax, pro-business, pro-growth state is absolute.  However, the state has been unable to enact an important threshold – elimination or at least a sizable reduction in the 6 percent maximum personal income tax rate – and that prevents Georgia from being considered at the top of states that have low-tax, pro-growth fiscal policies. Today the American Legislative Council released its sixth annual “Rich States, Poor States” economic competitiveness index report that evaluates states on 15 fiscal policy sectors including tax rates, state regulations, right-to-work laws and size of the public workforce as a percentage of statewide population.  The ALEC formula rewards low-taxing, low-spending states, of which Georgia is one. Georgia does well… View Article
By Mike Eckert  One of Georgia’s biggest challenges today is job creation. As simple as it may sound, it needs amplifying. When people work, the economy grows and so does tax revenue, which is critical to funding essential services like education, transportation and public safety.  The unemployment rate in Georgia is 8.7 percent, a full percentage point higher than the national average of 7.7 percent and higher than our neighbors, Alabama (6.8 percent), Florida (7.9 percent) and South Carolina (8.6 percent).    Since when have Georgians been willing to cede economic turf to its border states?  Over the past 20 years a significant percentage of the new jobs in America have been created by small businesses. The Small Business Administration, which… View Article

TaxReformTheGame.Com … Welcome to Planet Wonky!

By Mike Klein Warning:  Your star ship is about to land on Planet Wonky!   After all, discussions about whether to broaden the tax base, change exemptions and deductions and other such discourse are, if nothing else, wonky.    Even the wonkiest of wonks admit that what they do is too wonky for most folks.  But ah ha!  Now there is a wonky game for even the least wonky among us. TaxReformTheGame.Com has launched on the internet.   It is your ticket to rewriting Georgia’s tax code all by yourself using the two simplest rules in the game:  Point and Click.  Each time you point and click, each time you change the data going in, you get a different result coming out.  That… View Article
By David Brunori Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has made the most provocative tax reform recommendation in many years. Jindal said he would overhaul the tax law. If he has his way, he’ll revolutionize it. The governor proposes to eliminate both the personal and corporate income laws in Louisiana. Why eliminate all the income taxes in the state? Jindal thinks it would be a boon to the economy. If the state allows citizens to keep more money in their pockets, they will invest and spend wisely (certainly more wisely than the government). Jindal also believes the change will attract businesses. Businesses, too, would like to keep more money in their pockets. The Tax Foundation predicts that repealing the income taxes… View Article

Government Transparency

What if … Every citizen could track every dollar of federal, state or local government spending, every contract, every real estate deal and every travel expense? What if … Citizens in every Georgia community could use their local knowledge to track and analyze local expenditures? What if … National experts could help citizens decipher government accounting and establish benchmarks for every government service? What if … We could honor every government in Georgia that offered quality services at the best value to taxpayers? What if … we could expose fraud, waste and abuse at every level of government? We believe transparency is the first step to accomplishing all of those goals. Georgia has become a leader in that area, but… View Article

…One of the best things about the Georgia Public Policy Foundation is that it has such a broad membership base.

Dr. Wendy L. Gramm, Former Chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more quotes