Georgia should seize the opportunity for deeper tax cuts

How low can you go? Many states are asking that question of their tax codes, flush with inflated revenues and more than a little envious of how no-income-tax states such as Florida, Tennessee, and Texas are attracting employers and, just as important nowadays, workers.

Georgia occupies an interesting place on the list. It continues to grow at the same million-people-per-decade rate it has maintained since the 1980s. And it’s already a low-tax state: Many of the nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s various lists rank Georgia among the ten friendliest states to taxpayers.

Lawmakers continue to cut, albeit in a manner befitting the third word in the state’s motto: Wisdom, Justice, Moderation. The question is whether this amounts to merely nibbling around the edges at a time when other states are taking much larger bites.

One bill passed during the annual legislative session that ended March 28 will accelerate the state’s planned cut in the personal income-tax rate this year to 5.39 percent, from the original 5.49 percent. Another reduces the state’s dependent exemption by $1,000, meaning a traditional family of four won’t pay tax on its first $32,000 of earnings. A third also cuts the state’s corporate-income-tax rate to 5.39 percent and recouples it with its personal levy going forward.

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