Register Now for Annual Dinner with WSJ’s Stephen Moore

FOUNDATION EVENT REMINDER March 18, 2013 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or  Register Now to Attend Foundation Annual Dinner with WSJ’s Stephen Moore Atlanta – Have you reserved your seat yet? The deadline is Wednesday, March 20, to reserve your seat to attend the Georgia Public Policy Foundation Annual Dinner on Wednesday evening, March 27th, at the Cobb Galleria Ballroom. The keynote speaker is The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore,, a national champion of free enterprise, limited government and personal responsibility. Moore joined The Wall Street Journal as a … Continue Reading →

Huge Approval Votes for Tax and Criminal Justice Reform Bills

by Mike Klein Georgia General Assembly sessions usually move at NASCAR speed into the final few days but some of the highest profile pieces are finished before next week’s final three days. Thursday afternoon the Senate unanimously approved tax reform and the House passed criminal justice reform.  The tax reform bill is ready for Governor Nathan Deal’s signature.  The Senate must vote on criminal justice and that is expected on Monday. The Senate approved tax reform 54-0.  The House approved criminal justice reform 164-1 but the single no vote later … Continue Reading →

Tax Bill Passes Out of Committee; Heads to House Floor Debate

By Mike Klein Georgia online shoppers could begin to notice changes in their internet purchase sales taxes three months sooner than originally announced.  The new effective date would be October 1 – just in time for holiday shopping – rather than on New Year’s Day which was the original date. The announcement was made Tuesday morning during the second and possible final meeting of the House – Senate revenue committee that oversees tax reform.  House Bill 386 passed out of committee on a voice vote after a 13-minute hearing and … Continue Reading →

House Sends Tax Reform Bill to Senate on 155 – 9 Victory Lap

By Mike Klein The Georgia House overwhelmingly approved tax reform legislation Tuesday afternoon, sending the bill to the Senate on the wings of a powerful 155 – 9 bipartisan victory lap.  Speaker David Ralston closed debate with a rare appearance in the well, telling members to, “Vote Green!” Ralston personally thanked A.D. Frazier, chairman of the 2010 Special Council on Tax Reform that traveled the state and took testimony from hundreds of Georgians before it submitted a far-reaching … and some would say, politically challenging … set of recommendations. “Some … Continue Reading →

Attention Online Shoppers: More Sales Taxes Likely in January

By Mike Klein Georgia online shoppers would be required to pay state sales tax for more purchases starting on New Year’s Day 2013 if tax reform legislation unveiled on Monday becomes law. Georgia shoppers currently pay state sales tax only to online retailers that have a bricks-and-mortar presence in the state.  The proposed tax reform bill would expand the number or retailers who are required to collect state sales tax by eliminating the bricks-and-mortar distinction. Expansion of online purchase state sales taxes and changes to taxes on personal motor vehicles … Continue Reading →

No Personal Income Tax Relief for Georgians This Year

By Mike Klein Exhale now if you expected personal income, corporate income or sales tax rate changes to be enacted during the current General Assembly.  It won’t happen but as Chicago Cubs fans have believed for more than one hundred years, there’s always next year. “There was a lot of discussion last session about those kinds of things,” House Speaker David Ralston said Thursday.  “You’re probably not going to hear much this year.”  Ralston answered a Georgia Public Policy Foundation tax rates question during a Commerce Club membership breakfast. The … Continue Reading →

Has Georgia Tax Reform Fallen Behind Other States?

By Mike Klein Georgia’s high octane tax reform initiative flamed out last year.  A moderate approach seems possible this year and likely soon with the Legislature having completed half of its calendar. “I call state income tax the opiate of state government,” says Jonathan Williams, director of the tax and fiscal policy task force at the American Legislative Exchange Council.  “When times are good personal income tax revenue and corporate income tax revenue skyrocket.  When times are bad it plummets down the drain.” Governor Nathan Deal described his preliminary reform … Continue Reading →

Georgia Needs a Personal Income Tax Rate Cut

By Kelly McCutchen Georgia is 48th in the nation when it comes to growth in personal income per capita over the past decade. Over the past year, job creation was the lowest in the nation and unemployment remains stubbornly high. This state’s economy clearly needs a jolt. Improving education, workforce training and transportation are critically important to economic growth, but they are long-term issues requiring significant lead time. On the bright side, tax policy can be enacted immediately, and a significant reduction in the personal income tax is just the … Continue Reading →

Legislature Should Venture into Bold and Innovative Territory

As Georgia emerges from the recession, we face a great opportunity to reshape state government for the future. Rather than blindly funding the same ineffective programs, we can rebuild smarter, more efficient programs. ● Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly laid the groundwork in 2011 for the first fundamental change by establishing a panel of experts to review Georgia’s criminal justice system. The panel’s recommendations present a common-sense strategy to divert nonviolent offenders, especially those with drug or mental health problems, to more effective treatment and community-based options. This … Continue Reading →