ATLANTA - State income taxes and property taxes would be replaced with a slightly higher sales tax under a constitutional amendment introduced this week by Sen. Mitch Seabaugh.
Senate majority whip Mr. Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg acknowledges that passage of his proposal won't happen this session, which has passed the halfway point.
Still, Mr. Seabaugh notes the national popularity of replacing income taxes with sales taxes.
"I get a lot of questions on why we can't do this here," he said.
By including services such as hair cuts, apartment rent and movie tickets, the state sales tax would be expanded to cover the majority of transactions in today's service economy. That broader tax would minimize fluctuations because of changing economic conditions and would hold the new tax rate to just 6.5 percent, only slightly above the current 4 percent sales tax.
Mr. Seabaugh's legislation, Senate Resolution 282, is designed to bring in the same amount of money that the state's income tax and small property tax net. But it would sweep away all special exemptions granted as a way to spur one industry or another.
Lower prices should keep poor Georgians from bearing too much of a burden as a result of the higher sales tax, he said.
Critics of sales taxes point out that the poor have to spend a greater portion of their income buying necessities such as clothes, housing and transportation.
Reach Walter Jones at (404) 589-8424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTACT SEN. MITCH SEABAUGH:
421-D State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-6446
Fax: (404) 651-6768