Georgia lawmakers look at tax shift

Monday, Jan. 2, 2012 9:31 AM
Last updated 11:18 AM
  • Follow Latest News

Georgians would pay higher sales taxes in exchange for lower income taxes under a series of proposals backed by some top Republicans in the state Senate.

But before the state’s accountants start adjusting tax forms, remember: Tax reform plans were also the rage in the 2011 session but failed to get a vote as the GOP majority could not find consensus.

Lawmakers will return to Atlanta Jan.9 for the start of the 40-day legislative session and already changes to the tax code are an admitted top priority of leaders in both the House and Senate. But while House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, and Gov. Nathan Deal are keeping their ideas for reform to themselves for now, some in the Senate have already put plans on paper.

At a recent meeting of a joint House-Senate committee studying tax changes, Senate leaders released a summary of three major changes that could be considered. Each measure would be offset by an accompanying decrease in the state individual income tax. They are:

-- A $1 per pack increase in the state cigarette tax, to $1.37, which would raise an estimated $334.80 million a year; it would result in a 0.13 percent decrease in income tax.

-- A 1-cent increase in the state sales tax, to 5 percent, which would raise an estimated $1.31 billion a year; it would result in a 0.85 percent decrease in income tax.

-- Applying the existing 4 percent state sales tax to groceries, which would raise an estimated $560.65 million a year; it would result in a 0.30 percent decrease in income tax.

Senate leaders, however, stress that these are merely ideas and not a solid plan. Sen. Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, the chamber’s president pro tem, said he favors an increase in consumption taxes for a cut in income tax.

Comments (8) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
firstamendment23
0
Points
firstamendment23 01/02/12 - 11:06 am
0
0
This is the dumbest idea

This is the dumbest idea ever. Georgia needs to allow casino gambling and sports betting in the state and use that revenue to abolish many of these taxes such as income tax and school taxes that land owners have to pay each year. Billions of dollars in GA revenue is being spent in surrounding states such as Mississippi and North Carolina at casinos. These dollars could be kept here in the state.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 01/02/12 - 11:07 am
0
0
Thank god for them. I am so
Unpublished

Thank god for them. I am so tired of paying income taxes on my earnings. Now I can bank large quantitys and only pay taxes on what I take out to spend. This should make a big boost to my savings account, which I will need when I go out of state for vacation or travel. Again, thank you for my increase in savings.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 01/02/12 - 11:14 am
0
0
How about this. Stop spending

How about this. Stop spending money you don't have.

dichotomy
29796
Points
dichotomy 01/02/12 - 11:45 am
0
0
A 4% tax on groceries. A 1%

A 4% tax on groceries. A 1% increase in sales tax. And another $1 a pack on cigarettes. All for a trifling 1.28% decrease in income tax?

I've got two things for you GA legislators.

1. Bad bad deal for the taxpayers. For those kinds of increases in taxes the taxpayer should be getting a 10% or 20% decrease in income taxes. The tax on groceries alone will wipe out any savings a family might get from the trivial decrease in income taxes. If that's the best you can come up with, take the rest of the year off. This is nothing more than a revenue grab disguised being sold as an income tax decrease.

2. My cigarette bootlegger is going to love this because his business is going through the roof. He's gonna need a bigger truck. It's a question of fairness and when you do crazy discriminatory things I become a lawbreaker. Just consider it civil disobedience.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 01/02/12 - 12:15 pm
0
0
A $1 per pack increase in the

A $1 per pack increase in the state cigarette tax, to $1.37, which would raise an estimated $334.80 million a year; it would result in a 0.13 percent decrease in income tax.

How can you base these numbers as realistic and at the same time be campaigning and "bragging" that smoking is on the decline????? In truth, the state's do not want smoking eliminated........they make way too much money off of smokers.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 01/02/12 - 12:38 pm
0
0
- A $1 per pack increase in

- A $1 per pack increase in the state cigarette tax, to $1.37, which would raise an estimated $334.80 million a year; it would result in a 0.13 percent decrease in income tax.

2010 Census says that there are 9,687,653 residents in Georgia; I have an idea..........let's also increase the alcohol tax by 270% ...IMAGINE, how much that could generate!!! Boy, you could REALLY lower the income tax that way. ALL of this is new year GARBAGE; the ONLY way to lower taxes is LESS SPENDING. Both Democrat and Republican will not do this; neither side will "do what is best for the voter". The "baby boomer" generation is the largest in our history....what will the government do for revenue, when we have all either retired, or died out. Personally, I am retired and pay no more taxes into the system other than sales tax and local tax on my vehicles.....and I love it!!!! I could go back to work and earn upper five figure income. And then have to succumb to ever increasing tax bases.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 01/02/12 - 12:45 pm
0
0
I live on a monthly budget;

I live on a monthly budget; and I am comfortable, yet, cannot do everything I would "like". I use my credit cards every month, but, NEVER spend beyond my budget, and ALWAYS pay them in full at the end of the month. Why will our government NOT do likewise?? The present administration will spend until the balance sheet is empty, then over-extend without any visible means of payback. How is this considered good management??

TrulyWorried
11894
Points
TrulyWorried 01/02/12 - 05:07 pm
0
0
I wonder what would happen if

I wonder what would happen if all citizens would not pay their taxes this year? There is hardly enoug jail space :>) ??? Guess the government would just borrow more?

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 01/03/12 - 02:11 am
0
0
thank goodness we live on the

thank goodness we live on the border

augusta citizen
8484
Points
augusta citizen 01/03/12 - 10:33 am
0
0
Bruno said, "How about this.

Bruno said, "How about this. Stop spending money you don't have." Amen, this is really the crux of it all, stop looking for ways to get more money out of those who work and are already over-taxed. Yeah right, bet sales taxes, cigarette taxes, etc. would rise and would we ever really see cuts to our income taxes? Either no, or not enough to make a big rat's behind worth of difference.

omnomnom said, "thank goodness we live on the border." That shows that the flat tax/fair tax sort of system doesn't work for states, though I would applaud it on a national level. With states, it just guarantees that people will re-direct their spending to a border state with lower retail taxes.

Back to Top

Loading...