Ga. ‘tax reform’ would make life’s necessities more expensive

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Gov. Nathan Deal is by nature a cautious man, and that innate caution has served him well. In fact, most of his troubles in his financial affairs and political life have come when he abandoned that caution.

Last week, that trait was again on display when Deal warned state legislators against making large-scale changes in the state’s tax structure. With the state treasury finally showing signs of stability, “We need to ensure that we’re on solid footing in order to sustain the budgets that we have continued to pass and will pass,” he told Walter Jones of the Morris News Service.

In particular, Deal stressed the fact that any tinkering with the tax structure may cause bond-rating agencies to reconsider the coveted AAA bond rating they give Georgia, which allows it to to pay low interest on its debt. And he’s right. The impact on bond ratings is a legitimate concern, and states such as Kansas that have tried to revamp their tax structures as part of some ideological experiment have seen their bond ratings downgraded.

However, there’s an even more important reason to be wary of the changes being proposed by Republican legislators. If enacted into law, they would significantly increase taxes on lower-income and middle-income Georgians while conferring a significant tax break on corporations and wealthy individuals.

Put another way, those proposals would redistribute wealth, taking money out of the pockets of low- and middle-income Georgians and handing it to the already wealthy. And though some may try to cloud the issue, there’s no real debate about that fact.

All of the proposals now being considered take the same general form. They would cut the state income tax, then try to replace the lost revenue by increasing the state sales tax and also applying it to food. And while liberal and conservative economists don’t agree on a lot, they do agree that raising the sales tax will hit low- and middle-income households disproportionately harder, while a reduction in the income tax will benefit mainly upper-income households.

Conservative economists argue that’s a desirable outcome that will produce more jobs — the old trickle-down theory — while liberal economists think it’s unfair and almost never produces the growth that is promised.

Two other points:

  • As the chart above illustrates, Georgia’s tax system is already highly regressive, meaning that it already imposes a much-higher tax rate on low- and middle-income households than it does on the wealthy. On average, the wealthy in Georgia pay 5 percent of their income to state and local governments. On average, the rest of Georgia pays 10 percent. The proposed shifts in the tax structure would make that inequity even worse.
  • Georgia’s lower-income and middle-income households are losing ground even without having higher taxes added to their burden. Fifteen years ago, median household income in Georgia was above the national average. In the most recent data, it is $4,400 below the national average. Adjusted for inflation, median household income in Georgia has declined by more than $8,000 since 2008. The proposed tax changes would hurt the buying power of those already attempting to deal with that loss of buying power.

In short, the Georgia GOP would be trying to tell people already losing ground that their tax burden will go up, but it will be for their own good. In this political environment, that’s a tough sell.

GaTaxA1

Georgia’s sales tax and excise taxes collect 6.8 percent of the family income for poor Georgians, but only 0.8 percent of the income of the top 1 percent. The opposite is true of the income tax, which hits wealthier Georgians slightly harder. Shifting the tax-revenue burden away from the income tax and onto the sales tax would mean a significant tax cut for the wealthy, and a significant tax increase for everyone else. Source: http://www.itep.org/pdf/whopaysreport.pdf

Reader Comments 0

1012 comments
AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Please check my math. A friend explained it to me this way. A guy makes a $Million a year and gets the new GA tax break of 2%. That is $20,000 in his pocket. He spends only $100,000 on stuff that will be taxed by GA at an additional 1%, so he pays $1,000 more in sales tax. He nets $19,000 per year on this scheme that has to be made up in extra taxes on the middle class and poor. With that $19,000 per year, he can buy a $3 Million dollar mansion. Cool - a $3Million dollar mansion basically free - paid for by poor and middle class tax payers.

DumbandDumber
DumbandDumber

Figures the higher earners, who essentially pay most of the taxes today, would "benefit" the most from an income tax decrease. I always love how that is thrown around in press articles as if that is somehow wrong. Anyone ever bring up that disproportionately taxing those who earn money might somehow be unfair to begin (graduated income tax)?

Another unfair/dumb  idea is property taxes based on value of property. Because a person has a bigger house (and perhaps no children), they pay more for services (such as schools) that they might not even use?

But, hey, any news article not about KY county clerks and why they are still employed are good :)

Dusty2
Dusty2

Hey FIGMO2


GoodWill stores in Atlanta have senior discount day every Tuesday.  They say the treasures are unlimited,  something  always there for Antiques Roadshow!!!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@DebbieDoRight @Dusty2 This explains why @Dusty2 got so upset with me when I posted about Kim Davis's twisted life.  I did not mean any disrespect but she is what she is and she should not be judging anyone because of God's laws.  

Brosephus
Brosephus

@InTheMiddle2 

"If the motivation to not enforce the law was based on personal beliefs as opposed to  religion would you feel the same?"

Yes, I would.  A person acting as an agent of the government carries out their duties on behalf of the government, not themselves.  It doesn't matter whether their views are personal, religious, or anything else.  They have to carry out the duties of their job to the letter of the law.  If they cannot carry out those duties to the letter of the law, then they need to remove themselves from government employment.

Dusty2
Dusty2

@Brosephus @InTheMiddle2 


Brosephus,  In WWII there were conscientious objectors for which the government made exceptions.  They could serve without guns. Many became medics.  Religious beliefs were given great consideration  in those days, not something to be dumped as irrelevant.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Dusty2 

They served in civilian positions for the most part, not military.  That's where the civilian corps came into play.  If Mrs. Davis cannot act as County Clerk, then she would be moved somewhere else so that her religious beliefs are not compromised if you're going to use the WWII example.  She would not remain County Clerk.

What she cannot do, as an agent of the government, is use her religious beliefs to act as the government.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Cut yoaself some coupons. Seniors can shop on their discount days. Get yoaself a 10% off Kroger card and shop on senior discount days.

My late Mother-in-law knew how to get it done. One of the happiest days in her life was when the grocery store had to pay her 16 cents at checkout.

That woman was amazing!

http://www.pewresearch.org/files/2015/03/FT_15.03.23_taxesInd.png

Nuff said.


StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

I wonder was Kim Davis calling on Jesus when she was getting pregnant by her third husband while she was still married to her first husband.  How does that work?  Oh gawd!  this is so good.  Ha ha ha

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Dusty2 @StraightNoChaser It has not been ok for government officials to use their positions to bully and discriminate since the 20th century.  What is not personal about someone wanting to get married?  You sound ridiculous, Kim Davis put herself out there for scrutiny by being a hypocrite not beyond sin herself.  She should have kept her mouth shut and no one would know how she slept around and cheated on her husbands.  Let alone how many times she has been married.  She is not the poster child for a Jesus cause.  

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Dusty2 @StraightNoChaser It is not unrelated when she is casting stones while living in a glass house.  Her whole stance is that she does not want to go to hell.  How can one sinner judge another sinner?  How does that work?  The busy body is Davis worrying about what's going on in someone else's bed room when hers is full of fire works.

Dusty2
Dusty2

@StraightNoChaser 


Straight,


Davis is not on trial about her personal life.  Only an absolutely PURE busybody would bring that into an  unrelated  legal procedure. 

Dusty2
Dusty2

Well, after you clean things up around here, don't forget the thoughts of our founders who wrote:  IN GOD WE TRUST!


They have proved to be very fine citizens with great foresight for a fine America, one of the greatest countries of all times.


  Think, people, think!

Dusty2
Dusty2

@breckenridge @Dusty2 


Breckenridge,


Jefferson made his faith in God quite apparent and does not need you to interpret it as Jefferson  was so much more intelligent than you.


Perhaps you would like to" interpret"  why IN GOD WE TRUST  was put on US currency  in the 1950s.  Where do you think they got that original  idea? ,


breckenridge
breckenridge

@Dusty2 @breckenridge 

Okay Dusty perhaps I can enlighten you then.Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration Of Independence, and in it he mentioned God. But he was not referring to the God of the Bible since Jefferson was a Deist.

And then there is the Constitution, which states that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.  That can be found in Article 6, paragraph 3.


I trust that helps?

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Dusty2 

Where exactly did the Founding Fathers write In God We Trust? Please enlighten me.

breckenridge
breckenridge

 Meanwhile, over at Hillary's camp, the elephant in the room takes another big dump in the liberal punchbowl 

An elephant taking a dump in the punchbowl? ROFLOL!  Good one!  "Excuse me folks I'll be out of your way in just a minute, then you can get back to your party."

I wonder if elephants are trained like.......well have you ever been to a parade where some horse or another didn't drop a pile as he was walking down the street?  I think they teach them that in horse school.

straker
straker

Straight - "her discriminatory actions are being defended by Republicans"


Maybe its a sign from God?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@straker God doesn't have anything to do with that mess. Kim Davis has life time membership to Ashley Madison.  She does not want anyone else to get a marriage licence because she needs all of them for herself. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

OMG!  Brave Brave Huckabee offers to go to jail in her place if she violates the order.  Leading from behind.  If Huck wants to be brave, then he should personally deny the licenses and block them.  Let's see him make good on his silliness and false bravado. 

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

Meanwhile, over at Hillary's camp, the elephant in the room takes another big dump in the liberal punchbowl and the liberal lackies lap it up like it's manna to their souls!!!


He libbies, why would Hillary's server man take the 5th?  Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P W Trashe
P W Trashe

@consumedconsumer @fiftythreepercenter You do realize that it was neither illegal or against State Department rules to have a private e-mail server at the time that Mrs. Clinton was SOS don't you?  Or that the same thing went on under the Bush Administration, right?


How'd that Whitewater, Vince Foster, etc etc work out for you?  Hint, throwing stuff and hoping something sticks hasn't worked out that well for ya'll if you haven't noticed.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@fiftythreepercenter the irony of what? "that" you are obsessed with hillary or that her server person is expected to take the 5th during a time when there are criminal investigations going on? neither is news to me, frankly. you on the other hand apparently find it astounding that someone would avail themselves of a constitutional right other than those found in the 1st or 2nd Amendment.

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

@consumedconsumer @fiftythreepercenter Your apologist in crime below is telling us it's all legal, so what could possibly be illegal about what this guy did?  Any ideas?  


I didn't think you'd get the irony of that.  Just carry on bashing R's endlessly..... Hahaha!!!

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@fiftythreepercenter my apologist in crime? do tell, do tell . . .


when there are criminal investigations going on many people take the fifth. something about "may" incriminate me. not will. not I'm 100% guilty. Just something I say may tend to incriminate me, make someone look harder at me than they otherwise would, you know, screw up my life more than it is now. that's all that right protects. 


i don't know what's on the server. don't know the regs or laws that governed. at this point, don't care.


if something major had happened, we'd know it by now. we don't, so I'm thinking this is more about you and yours smearing her than much of anything else. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

Kim Davis is such a loser.  She doesn't make 100K.

 But her fortunes may very well be on the upswing soon. A book for stupids, a speaking tour to for stupids, etc.

Normd
Normd

In a nut shell...


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.



KUTGF
KUTGF

Funny how Davis' attorney do not think the court gave her an accommodation.  I guess our wannabes know better than her attorney.  ;)  LOL

gotalife
gotalife

@KUTGF fox news laughed at her lawyer. "Ridiculously stupid" they said.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@KUTGF Well, since the consensus on here has been, "...yeah, and her attorney is an idiot..."

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany Well yes they are if you are judging based on foolish arguments.  That her attorney considers the arguments advanced by you and td to be wrong does not mean that you have made an intelligent argument. 


Thanks for playing.