Quotes of note
“When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.” -Jean-Paul Sartre
“Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.” -Jonathan Swift
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass
On Our Desks
Flat tax analysis: Independent analysis by Georgia Policy and the Beacon Hill Institute estimates the proposal to flatten and lower Georgia’s personal income tax rate would lead to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs and put billions of additional dollars in taxpayers’ wallets.
Doing the math: In his weekly column, Kyle Wingfield dives into the numbers and what this flat tax could mean for many Georgia families.
Gotta catch… a charge: A Georgia man went on a nostalgia trip that put him in prison. He lied to obtain a COVID-19 disaster relief loan — and then used nearly $60,000 of that money to buy a Pokémon trading card – a Charizard.
At the Capitol
Tax on the move: The Georgia House passed legislation by a vote of 115-52 that would lower and flatten the state’s income tax rate.
Mental health in the Senate: The Georgia House passed the mental health omnibus bill this week by a vote of 169-3. This bill now heads to the Senate.
CON in committee: The Georgia House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care advanced legislation that would eliminate the state’s current Certificate of Need (CON) process by 2025.
Promised: The Senate Education and Youth Committee advanced legislation that would provide Georgia’s public school students with $6,000 promise scholarships.
Recovery in progress? Employment numbers in the tourism and hospitality industries in Savannah have recovered faster than anticipated, and they have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels, according to The Savannah Morning News.The labor market has grown across all industries, especially logistics and business services. Wages are rising with inflation, easing strain on workers’ paychecks, but costs are rising across the board, now at about 7%, a 40-year high. Energy costs are up by 30% and construction materials by 24%.
Buy (most of) the world a Coke: Coca-Cola Company, an Atlanta-based beverage company, announced that it will suspend operations in Russia as the country continues its war in Ukraine. Other companies, such as Mastercard, Ford, and Apple, are also suspending operations in Russia. For a more detailed list of companies ceasing operations as well as those still operating in Russia (as of March 10), please click here.
Supply issues: Seven years after Georgia legalized medical cannabis, some patients say it’s harder than ever to find their medication. In an attempt to break the logjam, a state commission awarded six grow licenses, but due to the weight of litigation, nobody in Georgia is currently producing medical cannabis. Source: 11Alive News
COVID-19: The Georgia Department of Public Health reports COVID-19 cases, deaths and vaccination rates on its website here.
Money matters: From 2001 to 2009, the cost paid by Georgia public school systems for school administrators has increased by 106%, as opposed to an 88% increase for teachers, according to State Affairs. By comparison, the national average increase across the same period was about 89% for both administrators and teachers, putting Georgia in the top one-third of states spending more on administrators than on teaching staff. Teacher salaries in Georgia ranked among the bottom third of states.Critics are asking whether the money would be better spent to pay and retain teachers.
Buying high, selling higher: Atlanta housing prices are some of the fastest growing in the nation, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The median price in February was just shy of $352,000. In real estate, a “seller’s market” is when there is less than a six-month supply of homes on the market at any given time. In Atlanta, that supply is down to one month.
Record price: An industrial park near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has changed ownership for a jaw-dropping amount. The $30.4 million (or, about $150 per square foot) price tag of the Aerotropolis North is the biggest transaction for a single building of its size in the immediate area, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Visit georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Branches Out Into Investigative Journalism, Here is How You Can Help by Chris Butler
Have a great weekend.
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