Big tax changes could be coming; what should they include?

A state tax council will soon come out with suggestions to change the tax structure.

How would you like to see the state tax structure changed?

One proposal may be to put the sales tax on more services – including groceries – and lower the state income tax. Would you be willing to pay more in sales taxes for everything from groceries to car repairs if they lowered the state’s income tax?

Please send your responses, with your name, occupation and where you live, to James Salzer at jsalzer@ajc.com

77 comments Add your comment

fairness for all

November 25th, 2010
10:08 am

broad based low taxes on everything (grocery,fuel,etc), no or low flat state income tax, plus low or no property taxes. every citizen of georgia should have some “skin in the game” so to speak. it was a mistake to remove sales tax from groceries, drugs, etc as it eventually had to lead to deficits. georgia’s state and local budgets are still bloated and it’s time for a look at state and school salaries–particularly administrative salaries.

STOOPID

November 25th, 2010
10:38 am

IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW LOW OUR TAX RATES ARE FOR BUSINESSES! IF WE DON’T FIX OUR TRANSPORTATION, EDUCATION, AND WATER ISSUES VERY FEW BUSINESSES WILL MOVE HERE!

DLink

November 25th, 2010
12:47 pm

OK, this is scaring me. I actually agree with a majority of the people posting, on page one at least.

Since so many have vivid opinions, I will just pick one of many that I agree with: Old Hippie? Your the man.

Enjoy Thanksgiving.

On a side note:
(I wonder if the working man being home today is the cause of all the sensibility I’m seeing here today. If so, perhaps election day should be a federally enforced holiday for workers.)

wondering

November 25th, 2010
3:15 pm

to comment intelligently on taxes or budget cuts, we would need to see the actual numbers. They did this in Minn. THe government sent out sheets that had the budget where it came from, WITH numbers in there, and then what was spent and where. THen they asked for public input. Now that makes some sort of sense. Would love for Georgia to try this.

Chuck Allison

November 25th, 2010
6:23 pm

The GOP has not been the party of the wealthy since 1960. It is the wealthy elitist democrats who pander to the welfare class in their unceasing war against the US middle class. 4 of the 6 wealthiest in congress are democrats. IN this last election, Dems raised 200 million dollars more than the GOP. Anyone who can use a computer to send a messge here is not old enough to remember when the Democrats last represented the poor.

Jethro

November 25th, 2010
6:47 pm

Why not just the flat tax? I mean fair tax — that really is the best way for Uncle Jed and the rest of us oily slick rich millionaires. Why any doggone republican can see that. I mean any georgian can see that.
Rich or poor, we for the common good of all should always help the rich.

John

November 25th, 2010
8:00 pm

I don’t pay state income taxes, so no to grocery sales taxes!!!

Gene J

November 25th, 2010
9:18 pm

Start charging landing fees at small general aviation airports or conversely stop the subsidies to these type of government owned facilities. (Stop all sorts of welfare!!!)

Senior Citizen

November 25th, 2010
10:02 pm

I cannot speak for all senior citizens, but I know that this one would be hard hit by increased taxes on services and products. Especially when my level of state taxable income has resulted in no state income tax being paid for these past couple of years. I have to feel that would be the case for a large number of senior citizens. And while this may be a selfish concern for everyone in my boat, there’s no question that the amount of property and other taxes I am currently forwarding to the state coffers constitute a good portion of that fixed income already. The last thing I want to happen is that I would have to depend on welfare benefits in any way. Fortunately my wife and I are still healthy. But with social security flat for the second straight year, and costs of virtually everything escalating regardless of what the federal cost-of-living index shows that line qualifying many senior citizens not now eligible for public support is getting closer and closer. A change in the tax structure including a new or increased sales tax on all purchases – especially groceries, would be devastating.

Hank

November 26th, 2010
6:23 am

No tax increases. This includes groceries and gasoline. The people in Georgia agreed years ago to pay higher fees for state services in exchange for no state tax on groceries period.
Surely, the citizens of the great state of Georgia did not give control of the Georgia General Assembly to republicans for them to put state state taxes back on groceries.
No tax increases in Georgia.

rob

November 26th, 2010
8:23 am

Get rid of the greedy politicians and lobbyist. Get rid of the waste in government.
Get rid of the local taxes on food. Let the non- violent prisoners work during the day
and pay the state for their meals,housing, and medical care.

Tax Girl

November 26th, 2010
10:17 am

Politicians will claim they haven’t raised taxes…gotcha…they expand base of tax (i.e. what is taxed – see computer services) Politicians will claim they won’t raise taxes…gotcha again…they charge “fees” that act just like taxes. (See Motor Fuel) Politicians will get real specific and claim they haven’t raised your income or sales tax…gotcha three times…they just call it different name – (See NC sales tax vs. the “privilege tax” on machinery- same base-same rate-different name)…Oh yea..and you might want to compare the economic condition of Tennessee, a state with a 9.75% sales tax rate on a large tax base and no income tax, to Georgia which has a moderate sales tax rate on a moderate base and a moderate income tax. When times are hard, small companies and poor people don’t buy and there’s no income tax to hedge Tennessee’s bet. (see Florida also) Guess which state is in a better economic condition.

Face it people, it takes money to run a government. (by the way – property tax is local for the most part- that inventory tax you voted down in recent Georgia referendums counts for the extremely small state portion of your property tax – the larger local portion still applies.) Taxes are and always will be necessary to our civic well being. Yet, you’d rather elect a “bait and switch” politician and feel like a santimoneous tax rebel. Tea anyone? When you ultimately get screwed by the “bait and switch” guy, you don’t blame yourself but, instead, blame the government. Why not try to run ALL the numbers BEFORE you vote for these guys. The truth might just set you free…especially you guys paying a lot of tax while that rich guy gets his tax breaks from Mr. Bait and Switch.

Chris

November 26th, 2010
10:45 am

Would you be willing to pay more in sales taxes for everything from groceries to car repairs if they lowered the state’s income tax?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

This is a scheme to lower taxes for corporations and the wealthy and increase taxes for the poor and middle class (in effect, trickle-down economics). If anything, we should do the opposite. Eliminate the sales tax and make the income tax more progressive (Adam Smith advocated on behalf progressive taxes decades before Karl Marx was born).

Increasing sales taxes will hurt the state’s economy since it will take more money out of the pockets of those most likely to spend it (Google “marginal propensity to consume”), meaning fewer customers for business, meaning lower incomes and fewer jobs.

Replacing income taxes with sales taxes would be a self-inflicted wound that would take a long, long time for Georgian’s to recover from.

JW

November 26th, 2010
2:39 pm

First, tie property assessments to purchase price, period.
If you bought a home in 1990 for $50,000 that’s the value you’re going to be taxed on until you sell it. After all, if the real estate market meltdown has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no such thing anymore as a fair market value.

Second, implement a statewide impact fee on new development, whether it’s residential, commerical, industrial, whatever. New growth should be responsible for paying for the stress it puts on roads, services, schools, etc.

Eliminate tax breaks for new industry. In fact, eliminate all tax breaks. If you have a tax why should there be legal ways to avoid paying it? A tax is either fair for all or it’s not fair.

fairness for all

November 26th, 2010
3:20 pm

an axe needs to be taken to the state budget. for those interested in fairness you should take the time to research and read the facts and myths about the fair tax. it should be noted that a similar tax system for georgia would be much smaller than this proposed federal system.
http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_main

Steve

November 26th, 2010
4:11 pm

Eliminate taxes on the wealthy and raise taxes on the poor. The rising tide will lift all boats! The wealthy have eliminated homelessnes with all the money they have given to their churches. We all have access to great healthcare because the wealthy give us jobs with outstanding health insurance. Any child who wants to go to college will be given a scholarship from a wealthy person. Hunger has been eliminated with all the food given to food banks. And we all lived happily ever after.

D Stands for Dumb

November 26th, 2010
5:34 pm

Either, or, we the citizens are going to take it up the pooper either way.

Janice

November 26th, 2010
5:45 pm

Lower the state income tax.

Raise sales taxes and gasoline taxes to compensate.

Janice

November 26th, 2010
5:53 pm

More than anything its property taxes that are killing people financially. There should be a maximum of maybe 3k a year.

Its one thing Europe have got right (no property taxes).

Stanford

November 27th, 2010
8:16 am

Simple – If you have more, you can and should pay more! Republicans want to continue to keep the tax burden on working people through unfair property taxes, sales tax and fees on services. If corporations and the idle rich paid their fair share the rest of us would get a break. Most of these phony amendments, written by lobbyists, are really a tax dodge to give exemptions to their special interest groups.

rj

November 27th, 2010
9:26 am

Initial step should be the repeal of all sales tax exemptions. There have been so many exemptions granted over the years that if everyone paid on level ground there would be no cash flow shortfall.
Secondly, we need to tax internet sales on all purchases in Georgia at a base rate of 5% and distribute the sales tax via zip code of purchaser. If the backwards revenue department can’t determine the zip code allotment Home Shopping Network can. It is time that we level the playing field on internet sales and the companies and individuals who spend money to develop facility in our communities and hire people only to lose a sale to an internet company because there is not sales tax charged.

Ben Thenkin

November 27th, 2010
9:27 am

Tax money comes out of the citizens pockets regardless of what the tax is named. The state is not going to decrease its intake from taxes and fees so the taxpayers will get no relief. One name or ten names does not change that fact.

Ima Thenkin

November 27th, 2010
9:37 am

Don’t try to make the tax mess more complicated than it already is folks. Most of the replies here just move the taxes around so that people other than the poster will pay more and the poster will pay less. That ain’t going to happen. The state will get everything it can from everyone. The politicians will not lower their income or living style.

barking frog

November 27th, 2010
10:51 am

10% sales tax on all transactions tangible and intangible.
Eliminate income and property tax and corporate tax.

Shiri

November 27th, 2010
11:55 am

Make the illegals pay their share, they get every benefit FREE, don’t pay property taxes,income taxes, social security taxes…. The state pays BILLIONS to support these freeloaders. I’m getting tired of fitting the bill for these people..

Elliott

November 27th, 2010
12:59 pm

everyone should pay some… eliminate the income tax up the sales tax… just like the fair tax you could prebate or get rid of grocery tax…. If you think there is a tax shortfall then shrink Govt.!!!!!!!!

Cliff

November 27th, 2010
1:54 pm

I would rather they do the reverse: abolish the sales tax and increase income tax. I can deduct my income tax from my federal taxes, but I can’t deduct sales tax.