House Republican caucus meets on tax overhaul

House Speaker David Ralston just walked out of an hour-long, closed-door meeting with his Republican caucus – presumably on the tax overhaul impasse that has roiled the last few days of the Legislature.

He offered no details of what was said inside, but observers could see that House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal addressed caucus members first. Ralston spent the last 30 minutes of the session answering questions.

Upon exiting, Ralston gave no sign of any progress toward a tax measure that would garner – without any changes — majority votes in both the House and Senate.

Asked if the House would see a bill today, the speaker said, “I don’t know. I don’t speculate in terms of time. We’re still talking.”

But Ralston hinted that more time would be needed. And the betting is that the Legislature won’t meet Friday, in order to give negotiations more time. Asked about a Saturday session, which he had suggested, Ralston played down the possibility.

“The Senate feels different about Saturdays than I do. Apparently, they’ve got plans. We haven’t ruled that out. We plan on talking about that later this afternoon,” he said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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28 comments Add your comment


March 31st, 2011
1:30 pm

What part of HELL NO do they not understand?


March 31st, 2011
1:34 pm

My income taxes are increased so someone with a higher income than me can have their income taxes reduced – what a great country.

Orwell got it right in Animal Farm “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”


March 31st, 2011
1:35 pm

Lee Howell

March 31st, 2011
1:38 pm

If Larry O’Neal were as worried about the taxes of the average Georgia citizen as he was about Sonny Perdue’s, we’d have no problem.

I bet ol’ Larry’s taxes will be lower under this plan, though.

North over South

March 31st, 2011
1:43 pm

Read my lips no new taxes


March 31st, 2011
1:47 pm

This thing stunk up the place from day one.

As I noted earlier, Alice (in Wonderland) summed it up pretty well:

“If it had grown up, it would have made a dreadfully ugly child; but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.”


March 31st, 2011
1:49 pm

The Goofs will try to pass it at the last minute!Watch out!


March 31st, 2011
1:56 pm

Unfortunately, this is what happens when one party dominates a political system. Obamacare being the result of Democrat dominance & tax cuts only for those people who paid for the Republicans to get unfettered control of the Georgia Congress.

These Georgia Republicans are a bunch of phony, wannabe tax hiking crony-socialists. There is no length they won’t go to stick it to the middle class and enrich those who got them in their position. The audacity of these people to raise taxes on the middle class, while cutting upper income taxes, to then come pandering for our votes is the definition of chutzpah!

I’ve been voting Republican when there were no Libertarian options, but after this episode, I think Democrats may be a better option on the state level. Unbelievable!

smart dawg

March 31st, 2011
2:09 pm

I very much resent the proposed new tax on private auto sales. Sales tax on vehicles has already been paid by the original purchaser. This is nothing but a concession to the auto dealers’ lobbyists.
Speaker Ralston, etal, need to do more listening than talking.


March 31st, 2011
2:10 pm

It’s obvious that this is going down to the wire and will be passed in the middle of the night on the last working day/night and will s…w middle class Georgians. But middle class Georgians don’t fund politicians.


March 31st, 2011
2:36 pm

I’m with smart dawg here. The sales tax on “casual” sales of automobiles has already been tried under Zell Miller and was an abject failure. Lobbying by the dealer associations is so obvious here that any representative that votes this portion alone in will be considered on the take as far as I’m concerned. There are too many variables in private sales to ascertain the true amount of the transaction or the reasons that the value assigned by the State could be wrong. I was given a motorcycle with some running condition issues simply because the former owner is moving out of state and did not want to put any more money into its repair and already has 3 others that he will be moving. I would resent very much having to pay a “sales tax” when no money changed hands.

Road Scholar

March 31st, 2011
2:40 pm

I guess this is their idea of transparency….wait…isn’t this what they complained about with President Obama and healthcare? At least with healthcare they had republicans in the room…Georgia democrats who are on the committee haven’t even been invited to attend committee meetings!

Jim does the present immigration bill contain th requirement of business using E-verify?Fines if not/caught with illegals? Get to the root of the problem!


March 31st, 2011
2:51 pm

The legal name for being on the take in politics is PAC. He/she/it who gives the most gets results.


March 31st, 2011
3:02 pm

Blogs have lips?

Just Wait

March 31st, 2011
3:04 pm

The facts of political life. Democrats give to the poor. Republicans give to the rich. NOBODY gives to the middle class, only take to pay for their constituents.

WE have lost our way

March 31st, 2011
3:09 pm

Watch out for the last minute deals on the last day.Somebody will get screwed.No fun intended!!


March 31st, 2011
3:12 pm

If they really wanted to get money from people by passing the sales tax system they would go after barter aggregators where goods and services are traded without the typical cash trail
Then they would require doctors, lawyers, engineers, dentists, and accountants to include in their pro-bono reports work done for their non-indigent fellows who barter services worth more than a chicken
Until then I consider practitioners of both forms of barter no better than the corner tax cheat prostitute and drug dealer

Beeg Boi

March 31st, 2011
3:22 pm

You voted them in, now you’re upset. HA!


March 31st, 2011
3:23 pm

The reason taxes seam high is just like environmental over regulation

If the local code enforcement official didn’t have to worry about getting fired for holding the A-List politically connected developer to the same standards the rest of us have to meet they would quit adding layers of extra compliance costs because we would as a whole be meeting federal guidelines
The state’s 2008 construction permit specifically targeted the lenders who foreclose on developments as requiring to re-file as the owner/operator and to continue erosion control management of the property. I’d wager my vote on every ballot box in November 2012 that not a single bank has had to bring a site into compliance

If the special interest groups didn’t have lobbyists getting them special exemptions the current level of taxation would be sufficient to run our state, even in these tough economic times

In both cases the honest middle class citizen ends up carrying the extra burden for the privileged

smart dawg

March 31st, 2011
3:41 pm

When I purchased vehicles for my children, the titles were issued in my name. Under this new tax code, will I be forced to pay sales tax (on a non-sale) to transfer the title to their names?

Last Man Standing

March 31st, 2011
3:55 pm


“Blogs have lips?”

Now, that is good! Deserves much more than an “Honorable Mention”!


March 31st, 2011
4:03 pm

findog, excellent post and so true.

Just the Obvious

March 31st, 2011
4:23 pm

Tax on Private Sale is bonanza to dealers. Which part do you not understand? You private sale your old car, you will get less money. You trade them into a dealer, you also get less money because they see that you cannot get decent values in private sale. To get the tax credits you are forced to deal with the dealers, otherwise the government penalize you with this double tax. You lose here and you lose there! They are exempting family transfers, but that’s a decoy. They’ll do anything to get this unfair tax in, for reasons only they would know in their hearts.


March 31st, 2011
4:30 pm

So those who earn below $20,000 and those who earn more than $180,000 will get tax breaks ,but the backbone of out economy, the middle class will once again bear the burden. Who are you fooling? “Republicans, It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.” George Carlin.


March 31st, 2011
4:34 pm

The end game here is a tax increase from whoever they can get it from. Otherwise why go through all this trouble — and of course, all the smoke and mirror exercises to make it appear revenue neutral. The original idea was to add he new taxes right away and then phase out the percentage of the income tax cut over a period of time. To all other people who speak and understand English, this is a tax “increase” — in politicospeak, it is not an increase because the law says the tax will ultimately be reduced. Of course, we all know that “circumstances could change” wink wink, and that reduction “will just have to be put on “temporary hold” until things get better.” This is an old shell game, and if the Dems were playing it now as the majority, the Pubs would be up in arms. They have decided that there will be x amount of state government and state services, come hell or high water, regardless of the economy or lower tax revenues, and that’s that. They ahve cut all they will cut. Unlike normal people and businesses who have to live within their means, gubmint does not. Odds are that those with lobbyists who have purchased influence will not be affected too much. I don’t have a lobbyist. Do any of you have lobbyists or any influence? Have any of you given the Speaker and his family a free European vacation lately? Uh-oh. I think I know who will be paying for this “revenue neutral” tax legislation.


March 31st, 2011
4:51 pm

@captguitarman – anyone involved with education recognizes the shell game involved. For instance, the Georgia Lottery Corporation will pay “as nearly as practicable” 35% of its net proceeds to education – that’s only been “practicable” for one year of the lottery’s history, but that hasn’t stopped the corporation from paying its employees record bonuses for record profits.

And National Board Certified Teachers were promised a 10% bonus as funds were available, after spending about $2K for the certification – but for the last couple of years funds just haven’t been available, too bad, so sad.

Too bad about HOPE and Pre-K, too bad about teachers, but I bet the Senators and Representatives are still getting their pay and their per diem expenses, don’t you think?


March 31st, 2011
5:47 pm

“Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!” George Carlin

apparently GA’s avg not too high