House Democrats want no part of tax overhaul

House Democrats just announced that they would oppose passage of HB 387, the bill to rework the state’s tax code – swapping an extension of the sales tax to new territory, in exchange for dropping the personal income tax rate from 6 to 4.5 percent.

Rhetoric aside, the announcement carries a strategic importance: House Republicans will be forced to search harder for votes within their own caucus. And if House Democrats, led by Stacey Abrams of Atlanta, don’t go along, it’s highly unlikely that the more irascible Democrats of the Senate will cooperate in that chamber.

From the news release:

“The tax council proposal of HB 387 is a shell game. Republicans have proposed raising taxes on the middle class. They’re quick to say that they’re lowering the income tax rate for most Georgians. What they don’t say is that they’re also eliminating many exemptions that help Georgia families. They are taxing the middle class, but pretending not to,” said Rep. Brian Thomas, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

The sting comes from House Democratic Caucus Whip Rep. Carolyn Hugley of Columbus, who complained of the lack of discussion the bill’s been subject to. “Georgia families deserve better than Tax and Pretend Republicans,” she says.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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51 comments Add your comment

Brenda

March 29th, 2011
12:25 pm

Democrats in Georgia have not cared about the middle class in a generation. I don’t believe they suddenly started.

khc

March 29th, 2011
12:33 pm

and the republicans have….what planet do you live on?

Funseeker

March 29th, 2011
12:50 pm

This bill shifts the tax burden to the middle and lower class, doesn’t create a single new job, and gives a tax break to the rich who will save more money after this proposal passes. In exchange for a measly tax rate reduction, it eliminates exemptions that means low salary folks will pay more. It’s an embarrassment to my Republican party.

Sarah

March 29th, 2011
12:51 pm

Even though the bill was purported to be revenue neutral, the public needs to under that only relates to the state. It is not net-net neutral to middle class taxpayers, who still have mortgages to pay. The low ceilings and caps on itemized deductions create tax increases for much of the middle class. Those who make over 150K and no mortgages will do very well (and the more they make, the sweeter the tax cut will be).

Sarah

March 29th, 2011
12:52 pm

Correction : Even though the bill was purported to be revenue neutral, the public needs to understand that only relates to the state. It is not net-net neutral to middle class taxpayers, who still have mortgages to pay. The low ceilings and caps on itemized deductions create tax increases for much of the middle class. Those who make over 150K and no mortgages will do very well (and the more they make, the sweeter the tax cut will be).

Last Man Standing

March 29th, 2011
12:54 pm

Damn! I hate it when I find myself agreeing with a democrat, even though I doubt their motives are pure.

Last Man Standing

March 29th, 2011
1:01 pm

Brenda:

I agree with you. They are playing the “blame game” in an attempt to gear up for the next election cycle. The truly sad thing is that this bunch of RINO’s have opened the door for them. I understand that the state faces difficult times in terms of funding. The solution is to keep cutting until the budget is balanced. You do NOT raide taxes in a recession or depression, and I am not sure whether is recession or depression, but it is definitely one of the two.

jd

March 29th, 2011
1:04 pm

Back when mean ole’ Tom Murphy ran things, the R’s complained that significant legislation was not given proper public exposure. My how things have changed now that the R’s run things.

cs

March 29th, 2011
1:05 pm

I agree with the demoNrats. If anything, the gop needs to eliminate sales and fuel taxes and raise corporate and capital gains taxes. I am already pennied and dimed to death.

rexdogma

March 29th, 2011
1:32 pm

all the republicans are for is corporate welfare and taxing the poor and middle class. Delta big tax break and nobody creates any jobs. if we do get jobs it will be because our state is like a 3rd world country india, mexico etc.

LMAO

March 29th, 2011
1:37 pm

@Last Man Standing @td is gonna throw you out of the party!!!

A flat tax is not a bad idea. I’m Democrat and I like the flat tax. I don’t like the half-arse approach that is being taken with what HB387 suppose to be. If you are going to take away exemptions, put caps on deduction, then drop the tax rate to zero.

Corporations are going to pass along more of their cost to the middle and poor while reaping huge breaks for themselves. Thanks GOP!!!

joe suggs

March 29th, 2011
1:45 pm

The poor pay zero income tax .The only tax they may pay is sales tax.If they work at all they even are rewarded with the scam called Earned Income Credit !

Bill Orvis White

March 29th, 2011
1:50 pm

The only solution is to scrap the income tax and replace it with a 21% $ales tax. I pray that governors like your honorable Governor Deal will have the guts to stand up to the Socialist-Democrat Party of Georgia and restructure the state’s antiquated tax system.

Fact: the shiftless and lazy aren’t paying income tax. The achievers/job creators pay more of their fair share to the states and federal government than in any industrialized nation in the world!

When will anyone realize that less government regulation = more job$!

No, instead the underachievers in the low and middle class are like cows at the feeding trough waiting for Hussein Obama, Nanny Pelosi, Hairy Reid and Bawny Frank to shovel them their next batch of slop.

Good night and Amen,
Bill

td

March 29th, 2011
1:52 pm

rexdogma

March 29th, 2011
1:32 pm
all the republicans are for is corporate welfare and taxing the poor and middle class. Delta big tax break and nobody creates any jobs. if we do get jobs it will be because our state is like a 3rd world country india, mexico etc.

You can not prove that it has or has not created any jobs. I can tell you that the tax cuts have kept the prices down. As a result the fliers have more money to spend in other areas which probably did create more jobs. Economics 101.

Cutting is good

March 29th, 2011
1:56 pm

1) Cutting taxes, when accompanied by commensurate spending cuts, is a good idea. Many functions of state are unnecessary and reduced revenues will force the government to focus on those that cannot be done by the private sector.

2) Eliminating deductions is good. Social engineering via the tax code is a loser no matter which side of the political spectrum you hail from. Targeted deductions, more than any other item except buying votes with transfer payments, is responsible for the corruption of our legislators.

Road Scholar

March 29th, 2011
1:59 pm

LMS: And your motives are pure?

Yeah, raise the sales tax to 21% and watch the economy plummet…if it can go lower! No fuel tax? You might want to just stay home…if you still have one!

td

March 29th, 2011
2:00 pm

LMAO

March 29th, 2011
1:37 pm
@Last Man Standing @td is gonna throw you out of the party!!!

Not going to throw someone out that is right. The Republican legislature is trying to piece mill a tax overhaul together while at the same time not including special interest groups. This is bad legislation.

findog

March 29th, 2011
2:01 pm

Dunr, I have to agree with LMS twice in the same day

findog

March 29th, 2011
2:05 pm

Hubris: Excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.
(in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimately causing the transgressor’s ruin
(in Georgia) Assuming that the middle class never pays attention
See: Abraham Lincoln and fooling the people

cs

March 29th, 2011
2:36 pm

Eliminate sales taxes will increase spending, which will increase profits, which will increase taxes for corpoartions to pay….its trickle up economics and I am 100% for it and a mostly republican voter.

Also need to tax the income from municipal bonds and other tax free bonds at the state and fedeal level.

Just the Obvious

March 29th, 2011
2:39 pm

Eventually, the “fair tax committee” is going to remove all new taxes for auto repairs, satellite tv, all services, remove all income taxes but this one tax should remain, TAX ON PERSON TO PERSON CAR SALES TAX. This is one big penalty tax for people that didn’t contribute their money to car dealers’ profits. This is FAIRNESS in the minds of car dealers, your hard earned money belongs to them.

insider

March 29th, 2011
2:55 pm

Brillant comment by Rep Hugley. And so true!

It is embarrasing to work for a GOP Representative who supports a tax increase.

Maybe I should go work across the street with the Democrats. At least they invite their staff to go out drinking with the lobbyists.

valentine

March 29th, 2011
3:01 pm

if it’s so revenue neutral, why the big push to pass it?

td

March 29th, 2011
3:02 pm

cs

March 29th, 2011
2:36 pm
Eliminate sales taxes will increase spending, which will increase profits, which will increase taxes for corporations to pay….its trickle up economics and I am 100% for it and a mostly republican voter

All this will do is make you feel better and eliminate more jobs in America. If you eliminate the sales tax and raise the corporate tax by 6 to 8% then the corporation has three moves to make. 1: They will raise the price of their goods or services by 6 to 8%. 2: They will cut their labor cost by 6 to 8%, if this is to much to attract skilled workers here then they will outsource the jobs overseas. 3: They will reduce there capital outlay by 6 to 8%. Again if they can not get the facilities they need for 6 to 8% less then they will take them overseas.

People pay taxes not corporations. If the corporation can not make a profit due to competition and tax structure then they will close their doors.

jmcathome

March 29th, 2011
3:04 pm

Ga republicans think they have everything wrapped up, just like the democrats did years ago. Our repubican legislators plan to lower taxes and exemptions most people dont take and then tax items not now taxed to screw the guy who has to get a haircut ect. Its time for this republican to find another party.

BW

March 29th, 2011
3:07 pm

Bill Orvis White

Sounds like the FairTax plan to me. How’s that catching on with the conservatives under the Gold Dome?

hl

March 29th, 2011
3:22 pm

joe suggs, Those poor people are indeed lucky duckies if they earn under 10,000 and don’t have to pay state tax. Of course, they have to pay sales tax but that extra 100 dollars back might help.

I sure am glad that I earn enough to pay taxes on because they don’t sound so lucky to me. IMO.

Keith

March 29th, 2011
3:46 pm

The income tax cut is temporary, the sales and use taxes will never go away. We’ll get the new taxes and income tax will creep back up to current level. You will have to pay sales tax when you sell your cousin or neighbor a car. How can Fla and Tenn have no income tax and Ga has to have one?

Einsteindawg

March 29th, 2011
4:00 pm

Instead of quibbling about raising/reallocating/renaming taxes, how ’bout cutting expenditures! Our elected representative could easily cut 20% in spending and provide tax-breaks for our citizens and prospective industries. How can we be broke with a 6% income tax as well as a 7%+ sales tax in most counties.

Last Man Standing

March 29th, 2011
4:01 pm

I have never seen a tax implemented that EVER went away, whether it is a federal, state or local tax. If the politicians ever get it in place, it is permanent Remember, the federal income tax was a “temporary” tax when it was begun.
\
Taxes equal money. Politicians use money to buy votes for re-election. This is a truth common to both political parties, but democrats are the proven masters of this diabolical art.

findog

March 29th, 2011
4:06 pm

td,
Corporations all through this state pay taxes, after we give them the sales tax.
Corporations should pay taxes, passed as user fees, for those that enjoy the products from which they make a profit.
Why should I pay for wear and tear on our highways used by the trucks of the Bible Book Corporation when I already have one and am not causing the need for repairs?
YES, corporations pay very little in real taxes as their lobbyists get their special exemptions from the legislatures that greatly reduce any tax burden they might have had; but why do they get preferred treatment from the small business owner who pays income and payroll taxes while competing with the big boxes?
Should there be NO taxes on the income of small business owners as they have to pass those cost on to the consumer; or are you just a BIG BOX Republican?

findog

March 29th, 2011
4:10 pm

LMS,
In my neck of the woods every elected city and county official will gladly point to where they have cut taxes and never, ever voted for a tax increase.
Apparently your politicians can’t lie as good as ours
Makes me feel sad :(

Einsteindawg

March 29th, 2011
4:14 pm

Last Man…you are right on! How ’bout term limits to limit this fraud on the taxpayers? This would do two things: Make the Rep/Senator cocerned about the next generation, not the next election, and stimulate new ideas. Seems like the longer an elected offical hangs around, the dumber he/she becomes.

Double Zero Eight

March 29th, 2011
4:20 pm

We (the middle class) are being “taxed to death”. That is not
going to change.with this legislation. Where is the response
from the Tea Party?

Last Man Standing

March 29th, 2011
4:30 pm

findog:

They lie here, too, buy maybe they haven’t had the experience at lying that yours have?

Harry

March 29th, 2011
4:32 pm

David Ralston was elected by the people of Blue Ridge to represent them. He was elected by his fellow representatives to be speaker. The GOP mandate has been and is spending and tax reduction – that’s why people voted for him. I’m really surprised that Speaker Ralston has not even made a pretense of reducing spending. Instead, he appears to be trading one set of taxes for another set, and bending over backwards to serve insider special interests and maintaining the status quo on spending. I’d like to believe I’m wrong, but that’s how I see it.

Last Man Standing

March 29th, 2011
4:38 pm

Einsteindawg:

Tell me how we can get politicians to vote term limits for themselves? Nothing short of a Constitutional Convention could achieve that and I’m not so sure that would be a good idea.

I only know that politicians, whether they be federal or state, have nothing in common with the average citizen. U.S. Senators and Congressmen would be hard pressed to tell you what a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread or any other food items cost. They can’t tell you what a decent pair of shoes, shirt or pair of trousers cost. If you doubt me, see if you can corner one of the critters and ask him/her. I’ll wager that if you get an answer, it will be incorrect.

DannyX

March 29th, 2011
4:42 pm

Dumb Georgia Voter: “Thank you sir may I have another?”

Georgia Republicans: “Yes you may! Vote Yes on the 1 cent transportation sales tax.”

(Hey Dumb Georgia Voter, its time to use your safe word.)

Einsteindawg

March 29th, 2011
4:43 pm

Some of you scholars please tell me what you get for your GA taxes? Education? (bottom third in the nation), Roads? (other than CA, NY, and Houston more congestion than the other states), Crime? (look at our too full prisons and how they are consuming dollars and watch any Atlanta TV station’s news), low sales tax? (most counties have a 7%+ tax with all the SPLOSTS, ESPLOSTS, LOSTS, etc.), or ????

Einsteindawg

March 29th, 2011
4:47 pm

Last Man…you raise a good point about limits. Maybe if we could send accountants to Atlanta rather than lawyers, they would concentrate on cutting expenses and wouldn’t want to be there more than one term. Unfortunately, the braintrust we send from my district are the only ones that want to run for this office.

neomaxcom

March 29th, 2011
5:08 pm

Middle class tax increase for sure. Every dollar a middle class couple earns between $75,000 and $92,000 is taxed at 9 percent. That slight of hand (lines 165-178 of HB 387) happens because each additional dollar earned is taxed and each dollar earned costs you another dollar of your $17,000 allowable deductions.

Josh

March 29th, 2011
5:39 pm

Anyone buying a car should read this recent post about customers experience buying their new car, as it will answer many questions and possibly save money when all said and done:

http://www.arlington-toyota-beware.com/

VOL

March 29th, 2011
6:17 pm

Although not a pronounced as at the Federal level, it’s about time the poor and middle class started paying their fair share at the state level. After that then we can focus on the free ride they get at the Federal level. Most of the govt goodies go to these people. If you get so much more bang for your buck for a tax dollar the govt spends these people shouldn’t mind the paying their fair share! By opposing the tax increase the poor and middle class admit that taxes are generally a waste and would rather reap the benefits than pay. Also, you never even here ‘crats offer taxes to the middle class under the packaging of we can do it better. Noone, especially the middle class, believes that govt spend money better than the people who earn it. People who the concept of tax the rich are hateful, divisive, cruel and financial rapists. Furthermore, the biggest problem we have in this country is the way we collect taxes. Besides being laergely inefficent the entire process empowers pols and is divisive. When we make everyone pay the same rate we will get as good of govt as we can because everyone will have a stake. Right now they don’t.

And neomoax ………….. $75,000-92,000 is not the middle. It’s higher than the middle. Since you quoted couple in yor post, I’ll use that for my example! Current median household income for 2 in GA is about $52,000. That means half of GA in 2 person HH are below that number and half are above it. Median income for the entire state of GA is $44,700. The income you quoted is top 20% easy. Probably top 10%. In other words the rich! Go away freeloader!

Al Osmann

March 29th, 2011
6:19 pm

What happened to all the jobs that were going to be created after the Rethugs took over the house? All of us were hoodwinked.

Alabama Communist

March 29th, 2011
7:01 pm

Breaking News……Meanwhile a tribe of middle class indians from North Georgia circle around the Democrats and demanded that they release the winning lottary ticket that was holding the Republicans hostage in their Tea Party Paradise Tax free Fort……….

Last Man Standing

March 29th, 2011
7:06 pm

Einsteindawg:

“Maybe if we could send accountants to Atlanta rather than lawyers”

They would immediately pass laws favorable to accountants. They would then steer state business to favored accounting firms.

m vale

March 29th, 2011
7:18 pm

I will vote for anyone who will set up a flat tax with everyone and every corportation paying 15%. No deductions, tax credits, devaluation, foundation, tax shelters……………..none. Everyone need to pay their fair share so we all know how difficult it is to have to pay out these taxes. When I find out that I paid more than GE, who made billions in this country and got billions from the government, I am totally outraged as should all Americans be. Change the rules, like right now!

Winfield J. Abbe

March 29th, 2011
8:05 pm

The Democrats are right. This proposal is a stupid, idiotic, waste of time. It will force everybody to spend more money on accountants when the state tax return does not have the same deductions and exemptions allowed on the federal return. The complexity of these is already disgusting and these idiots never change anything to make it simpler, only more complex to aid the accountants.
This is a smoke and mirrors sham to make it look like they have lowered taxes when they have not lowered them.
The income tax and the property tax are the two most unfair taxes in Georgia. Get rid of both of these and replace them with a single sales tax. Even illegal cash people must buy things and therefore pay tax. Think of the outrageous waste of manpower to have prejudiced autocrats in 159 counties wasting time evaluating property and forcing property owners to argue and spend enormous amounts of money seeking to have values lowered. Please, get rid of this monster. Do something original and intelligent for a change. Get rid of all property tax and all rents will come down aiding business. Stop wasting time the the current smoke and mirrors idiotic proposal. Property owners often cannot even vote if they own business property, but they are forced to pay enormous education costs of dead beats from a little fun in the bedroom. STop the unfairness. Get rid of income tax and property tax and replace with a single sales tax.

cs

March 29th, 2011
10:34 pm

td

March 29th, 2011
3:02 pm

good. let them (corporations) leave. then tariff the hell out of what they import.

Last Man Standing

March 29th, 2011
10:43 pm

cs:

“good. let them (corporations) leave. then tariff the hell out of what they import.”

The corporations will raise the price of their product to cover the tariff and the end consumer will pay the price.