Earlier this week, the Georgia General Assembly’s Joint Tax Credit Review Panel held its first meeting. The panel, led by the chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, looks to review Georgia’s various tax credit programs.
Tax credits play a unique role in Georgia’s economy, and this review comes as the state considers cutting the state income tax rate to a more competitive level with neighboring states. Some lawmakers believe the goal of lowering taxes without cutting state revenues can be achieved through reducing Georgia’s landscape of tax credits, which amounts to billions of dollars.
The largest and most well-known of these programs is the film tax credit. It’s hardly a secret that Georgia has become a destination for movie-making, as the film and television industry has exploded here in the past decade. However, the film credit alone cost the state nearly $900 million last year.
Will lawmakers consider capping or ending some of Georgia’s tax credits next year?
A former top-level official with the Georgia Tech Research Institute pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the school and the CIA. That story, and more, in our monthly review of stories about waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money or taxpayer-funded resources throughout Georgia.
This week, the Georgia Senate held its first meeting for the study committee on Certificate of Need reform. The Foundation’s Chris Denson testified at the hearing.
Georgia’s Certificate of Need laws have kept a community in Georgia from opening a local hospital. This is the story of the proposed Lee County Medical Center in southwest Georgia.
Since the failed transportation tax plan of a decade ago, the state has engaged in a transformative wave of road-building across the metro area and the state.
The way to make taxis more competitive is to free them up to compete. That means getting out of the business of government-regulated fares… and out of the business of government-created barriers to entry.
In the News
A Georgia Senate Study Committee began exploring what action lawmakers should take on reforming or repealing the state’s Certificate of Need program. “Research has shown overwhelmingly that CON laws limit access, lower quality, and raise costs,” Chris Denson, Director of Policy and Research at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, told The Center Square
“The tax credit has been a lifeline for many rural hospitals across the state that face financial pressures that larger health systems were not subject to, even prior to the pandemic,” said Chris Denson.
Georgia’s net tax collections continue to decline, with the state reporting decreased collections for the third consecutive month. Peach State officials said May’s nearly $2.5 billion in tax collections decreased 7.6% — or $205.7 million — from a year ago.
Gov. Brian Kemp will lead an international mission this week starting in the “other” Georgia, the nation at the eastern end of the Black Sea tucked between Turkey and Russia. The trip to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi will mark the first time a sitting U.S. governor has visited Georgia.
The Federal Reserve this week held interest rates steady for the first time in 15 months, pausing its aggressive tightening campaign to assess how the economy is faring in the face of higher borrowing costs.
The Department of Education has locked in when student loan payments will restart after the three-year pause from the pandemic. Interest on student loan payments will begin in September, and payments will resume in October, according to the department’s website.
Gov. Brian Kemp was elected to chair the influential Southern Regional Education Board, a 16-state body that gives policy advice to states from Delaware to Texas. Kemp said one key issue for him is making sure schools and colleges meet the needs of businesses for workers.
The DeKalb County Board of Education is planning for an increase in tax revenue this year, as all signs point toward it keeping the millage rate the same. But some officials question whether the state’s third-largest school district should consider a tax reduction instead.
Georgia officials are moving forward with another $15 million in grants to expand broadband internet across the state. Officials said the grants, funded by money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, should improve internet connectivity in four Georgia counties.
A bill that has passed the U.S. House with a bipartisan majority would prevent the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using federal funds to finalize or enforce a ban on gas stoves. Republicans introduced the bill after a CPSC member raised the prospect of a ban earlier this year.
According to the Bureau of Health Workforce, Georgia ranks sixth in a nationwide nurse shortage. They say it’s affecting rural areas the most.
The Children’s Hospital of Georgia recently received a $1.2 million donation from CureSearch. This money will help support clinical trials for pediatric cancer patients and treatment therapies.
Quotes of the Week
“You can tell what was the best year of your father’s life, because they seem to freeze that clothing style and ride it out.” – Jerry Seinfeld
“By profession I am a soldier and take great pride in that fact, but I am also prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys.” – General Douglas McArthur
“If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.