Whee! Click here to see 68 pages of tax legislation

Think you’ll have trouble sleeping tonight? Here’s your copy of the 68-page, newly minted version of HB 387. It’s a regular bodice-ripper. Taxes fall, taxes rise. The drama of the deductions under a 4.5 percent income tax is riveting.

You’re welcome.

But wait, there’s more. We have here the revenue estimate that goes with the legislation. According to Georgia State University, the combination of tax cuts and new taxes could shrink state income by $7.2 million, or increase it by 10.8 million. Roughly a +/- 10% spread.

The data was released at the 4 p.m. meeting of the joint House-Senate committee that will make the only changes in the measure.

All eyes are on Senate Republicans, who will need to throw off some sign of acceptance before the House-Senate committee will vote on the measure.

Among those at this afternoon’s meeting was Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, who said this:

”We’ve had two caucus meetings lasting a total of five hours on this topic alone. We’re trying to vet every aspect of the proposed legislation. I think most people are comfortable with it.

“What I’ve cautioned all of our members is to not focus on a single item, but look at the totality of the bill – and determine whether what’s being proposed is better than what we have today. I think right now, most people are leaning in that direction, but we haven’t asked anybody. We haven’t had a vote or anything like that.”

Several Senate Republicans have mentioned the lack of data to go with the legislation. Said Rogers:

”I would dispute that a little bit. The tax council’s recommendations have been out there since the beginning of January. That’s all we’re dealing with here. Now, it’s a subset of those recommendations. But everything we’re talking about has been out for quite some time.”

This weekend, House Speaker David Ralston said that if Republicans truly believe in shifting toward a consumption tax, this was the time to do it. I asked Rogers if he agreed:

”I fully agree. If we believe that taxing consumption is a better way to collect taxes than collecting income — if we can’t take this small step, it’s hard to argue you’re for a consumption tax.”

Democrats have yet to say where they are on this. But we talked to one who noted that the state expects to raise $45 million or so by taxing the labor on car repairs.

About half of that, we’re informed, would be paid for by insurance companies. Look for their questions to head in the direction of whose insurance policies will take a hit.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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33 comments Add your comment

the original and still the best John Galt

March 28th, 2011
5:58 pm

All who vote for this cobbled-together mess are voting for a tax increase in the middle of a Depression. Hopefully their constituents will be taking careful notice.

khc

March 28th, 2011
6:08 pm

anyone believe the revenue estimate by gsu….they have not been right in the last 8 years or so

khc

March 28th, 2011
6:22 pm

bye bye mortgage deduction….that ought to help the real estate industry….what a bunch of dunces

John Yossarian

March 28th, 2011
6:25 pm

John Galt supports the income tax.

the original and still the best John Galt

March 28th, 2011
6:44 pm

On the contrary. I support getting rid of taxes, as you would guess from my name. However, this mess that the Georgia legislature has entitled “Tax Reform” merely spreads the burden around while increasing it in total. A tax increase by any other name stinks just as much.

GaBlue

March 28th, 2011
6:55 pm

I don’t have to read it to know I’ll be carrying an even bigger portion of the state’s financial burden on my moderate little salary, so the wealthy and big corporations can enjoy a BETTER, more bountiful year with fewer sacrifices. (And the poor, as usual, have nothing to contribute.) Pass the pads, please. The middle class is indeed bleeding to death.

Lugnut

March 28th, 2011
7:52 pm

The sales tax on automobiles between private citizens is a tax increase on the poor and middle class in favor of the automobile dealers. Republicans are doing this. Republicans should pay the price next election.

By the way, you transfer a car to your kids name for insurance purposes – you pay a sales tax. You inherit a car from your mother – you pay the sales tax. You sell a car to a need friend for $1,000 that is worth $5,000 – you pay sales tax on $5,000. The STATE detemines the value, not your negotiated transaction.

Me? A conservative that is sick and tired of the RINO’s destroying what will be left of the Republican franchise in GA once they stick this tax increase on the poor and middle class.

Vote these bums out. Remember their names. VOTE THEM OUT.

And as for the GA auto dealers that were collaborating on this scheme – let them know of your disapproval by buying out-of-state. Yes, you still pay the sales tax – but you get to turn their palaces into support mechanisms for “For Lease” signs.

td

March 28th, 2011
7:52 pm

GaBlue

March 28th, 2011
6:55 pm

“so the wealthy and big corporations can enjoy a BETTER, more bountiful year with fewer sacrifices.”

I thought you knew better than to say that corporations pay taxes. I am disappointed.

Tyler Durden

March 28th, 2011
7:53 pm

John Galt might be better suited to find a country where his ‘No Taxes, period’ philosophy is more appropriate.

Perhaps La-La Land. Or rural Michigan. I hear some of them Militias are just as reasonable when it comes to taxes…

In the meantime, the adults will focus their energy on pursuits with at least a modicum of hope…

the original and still the best John Galt

March 28th, 2011
8:08 pm

Ah, Mr. “Durden,” when you don’t have an argument you result to name calling and insults. That’s very “adult,” isn’t it?

Georgia Idjut

March 28th, 2011
8:27 pm

No worries, fellow Republicans.

Come election year, we’re gonna vote these guys right back into office again.

Because we hate them Democrats so much.

Dick

March 28th, 2011
8:34 pm

Middle class squeeze-tax increase. A another manuever to reduce the tax burden of the rich while shifting the burden to the middle class. Redistribution of wealth, of a different kind-no matter which way you slice it.

td

March 28th, 2011
8:35 pm

Georgia Idjut

March 28th, 2011
8:27 pm
No worries, fellow Republicans.

Come election year, we’re gonna vote these guys right back into office again.

Because we hate them Democrats so much

You are correct that Republicans will remain in control of the state. The real test is going to be how many tea party and true conservatives will run against them in the primaries.

td

March 28th, 2011
8:38 pm

Dick

March 28th, 2011
8:34 pm
Middle class squeeze-tax increase. A another manuever to reduce the tax burden of the rich while shifting the burden to the middle class. Redistribution of wealth, of a different kind-no matter which way you slice it.

Pure Democratic party line talking points. Dd you actually take the time to read the bill? There are things I do not like about it but the capping of the mortgage and charitable contributions ensures that it does not redistribute towards the rich.

Maxima

March 28th, 2011
8:56 pm

the original and still the best John Galt

March 28th, 2011
5:58 pm
All who vote for this cobbled-together mess are voting for a tax increase in the middle of a Depression.

Wake up pinhead, not only are we not in a “depression” but the last recession officially ended almost two years ago. Come out from behind the counter @ McDonald’s, pull your cranium outta your ass and take a look around.

the original and still the best John Galt

March 28th, 2011
9:11 pm

Once again, Mr. or Ms. “Maxima,” you have no argument so you result to insults and name calling. Being unwilling to call the current economic mess by its proper name does not change it.

GaBlue

March 28th, 2011
9:18 pm

td,

I thought you knew better than to accuse me of saying things I did not say. I am disappointed (but not surprised).

Ontarian

March 28th, 2011
9:20 pm

UNIVERSAL PLAYLIST TO JUSTIFY AN ULTIMATELY UNFAIR TAX SCHEME ON USED CAR PRIVATE SALES:

* Package it with other high profile tax initiatives and says it’s part of the whole plan;
* Use some flashy tagline with words like “Jobs” or “Growth”;
* Rush it through the legislation, avoiding discussions and/or amendments;
* Emphasize “fairness” rather than creating substantial tax revenue;
* Use dealer friendly studies as reference;
* Blame the buyers who “avoided sales taxes” in private sales but in fact private sellers already paid the taxes;
* Says the new tax on private sales is the SAME tax and SAME tax rate as dealers’;
* Never mention the fact dealers’ inventory is not tax paid;
* Says car dealers are currently at a disadvantage;
* Find illegal activities as excuses for the new tax;
* Says other jurisdictions have the same tax;
* Never address directly to those most negatively affected by the tax;
* Never mention the impacts to owners’ used car values when they dispose the old cars for new ones;
* Talk about something else that people love to hear.

Rural Education

March 28th, 2011
9:32 pm

Don’t forget about trickle down, man just wait until those jobs come rolling in. We can never have too many Wal-Mart greeters.

Capital Idea

March 28th, 2011
9:38 pm

the elected ones got out of the Gold Dome in time to celebrate with the lobbyists at dinner.

Dick

March 28th, 2011
11:03 pm

TD, I did scan the bill, could hardly wait to read it. I am not a Democrat, but I use to be a CPA when I was young. Those who do not have mortgages (paid them off, or never had one in the first place because they paid cash), will lose nothing with this bill, but they will very likely gain on the rate reduction. The bill does not “ensure” wealth redistribution will not take place, but I understand the point you are making. Thank you for your comment.

Dick

March 29th, 2011
1:53 am

AJC
“The tax council suggested [taxing] everything, but that just didn’t pass the political filter,” said Channell, R-Greensboro.

Channell said the plan is a first step away from an antiquated system that taxes “buggy whips.”

“This is more for the long term,” he said. “The more you get to the point of taxing consumption and not wealth, and you broaden the base and lower the rate, the better off the state is going to be.”

Cliff

March 29th, 2011
6:56 am

“Broaden the base and lower the rate.”

Isn’t that just code for “the poor pay more and the rich pay less?”

Karl Marx

March 29th, 2011
7:00 am

Any legislator that votes for this should be voted out of office

khc

March 29th, 2011
8:16 am

i think the upper middle income folks will get screwed on this deal…if you have a mortgage and pay substantial property taxes, but make more than $100k for couple then no deduction, the 1.5% reduction in income tax won’t likely cover the loss of those deductions…..could be same for wealthy, but i guess they can pay off their mortgages….i think this will set back real estate industry even more in mid to upper mid income ranges…..so the net effect is to squeeze middle america even more…..hurts urban/suburanites, probably helps small cities and rural areas so that’s why it will likely pass because the hicks outnumber the city slickers in the general assembly

jd

March 29th, 2011
8:26 am

TD — GPPF analyzed the bill completely — 85% of Georgians will see little difference — top 15% will. Those are their words.

Mike

March 29th, 2011
9:03 am

Why not just a flat tax rate for everybody? If you make over a threshold amount, everybody pays the same rate. Say 10%. This could work for Federal taxes as well & for corporations. Makes too much sense & it would effectively put a lot of IRS workers & tax lawyers out of business so it would never fly.

findog

March 29th, 2011
10:32 am

According to td corporations don’t need to pay taxes because they pass through the charge to the end user. So how do the governments recoup the cost associated with these corporations operations? They don’t, they dump it on the stupid middle class who continue to support corporate sponsored representation from every level of the GOP.

td

March 29th, 2011
10:46 am

findog

March 29th, 2011
10:32 am

And the Dems do not have ” corporate sponsored representation from every level”?

I guess a little intellectual honesty would be to much to ask. If it was not for corporate sponsorship then there would not be a democratic or republican party.

Self_Made

March 29th, 2011
11:58 am

Lower income taxes to a 4% flat rate for everybody, eliminating deductions and exemptions. Set the thresshold high enough so that only income WORTH taxing is actually taxed (cost/benefit of administration & enforcement). Slap a sales tax on everything else at a moderate rate (4% is good) so that the poor, the illegal (persons and enterprises), and the hyper-consumers pay their fair share. Cut spending to fit the revenue. I can roll with exemptions on legitimate business to business sales (business license & minimum number of employees required), since companies can afford more employees or lower prices if you lower their costs. I don’t think it’s all that complicated. The hardest part is finding politicians of either party with the guts to do it.

Self_Made

March 29th, 2011
12:05 pm

BTW…there is an exemption of the casual sales tax for transfers between immediate family members. So just pass that used Chevy around like the mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. Eventually it will get to the intended recipient tax free.

GIVEUSABREAK

March 30th, 2011
11:33 pm

Despite what you hear, do not be confused – taxing consumption in lieu of income tax basically means you will pay more taxes unless you really believe you will never buy anything. Politicians say more taxes solve everything. Absolutely wrong. Stop please. Do not tax our communications, do not tax our auto repairs or sales to private individuals. – Who do you think you are kidding? Who do you think will have to administrate such a nightmare? You will. Do not be confused, there are politicians that believe the goal is make more revenue for goverment. Make more revenue for government? Government should not be in the business of making money, it should what is takes to supply services and only recover when the spend is needed. Personally I pay more taxes than many people make in their annual income. I am tired of it! It is time for those people to stand up and say enough is enough! There is so much red tape with government no wonder it costs more to run a red tape government. Who is genius that thinks paying consumption tax is better? Here is an idea, give incentives to companies that actually have more people such as administators working from home. Ever wonder why we have so many politicians that spend their time traveling, shaking hands, smiling and wasting government money when they could just easily work from home? Ever wonder why politicians try so hard to get these positions when the “income” they receive is so small on the surface? How about how many times we have heard of politicians that we discover do not pay taxes? Please, we beg of you – no MORE TAXES! NO MORE TAXES ! We put you in the positions based upon you lobby to cut taxes. Instead there are 91 proposed tax cut bills and you pass 3 ? Sorry, but this whole process works as effectively as a vacuum cleaner.