Georgia Lawmakers Say Eliminate Income Tax, Expand Sales Tax
- Mar 29, 2013 | Gail Cole
Several Georgia lawmakers have proposed eliminating the state income tax and expanding the sales tax. Junior Representative Tom Kirby (R-Loganville) is leading the effort to make Georgia more competitive with Florida, Tennessee and Texas, southern states with no income tax.
State legislators met yesterday for the last time in 2013, and now have until January 2014 to ponder the proposal. Supporters will use the time to hammer out specifics, such as which additional items should be taxed. Rep. Kirby said, “That’s one of the reasons we’re introducing this on Day 40. We start the discussion with the what and then bring the numbers in.” (Augusta Chronicle).
Although Rep. Kirby is the force behind the bill, he is not alone. Freshman Rep. David Stover (R-Newnan) has joined him, along with “one-tenth of the House of Representatives… including some in leadership positions.”
Meanwhile, two constitutional amendments pertaining to income and sales tax have been introduced in the Senate:
SR 415 would prohibit any increase in the state income tax.
SR 412 would prohibit the imposition of additional sales tax and prohibit raising the rate of sales taxes currently in effect “unless the amount of revenue collected due to the sales tax increase is dedicated to specific infrastructure projects that were approved in a referendum by the voters … or… enacted in conjunction with a proportional decrease in the rate of state income tax.”
According to Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer (R), “This is to start the shift from an income tax to a consumption tax.”
Kelly McCutchen, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, noted that “raising the sales tax from 4 percent to 6 percent, eliminating some deductions and raising the personal exemption to benefit the poor would allow for cutting the income tax by half.”
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