Last October, Grover Norquist, president of the D.C.-based anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, warned state lawmakers not to renew the state’s “hospital bed tax” passed in 2010 to plug a hole in the state Medicaid budget. The tax/fee expires on June 30.
Today, in a statement obtained by my AJC colleague Greg Bluestein, a spokesman for Norquist doesn’t like Gov. Nathan Deal’s effort, unveiled today, to shift the burden of raising the cash from the Legislature to the state Department of Community Health. From Josh Culling, the ATR’s state government affairs manager:
”Gov. Deal’s decision to shift taxing authority from the legislature to the Department of Community Health does nothing to improve the hospital bed tax. Instead, it is a step in the wrong direction, attempting to absolve the governor and legislature of any potential blame for the looming tax increase.
“The hospital bed tax remains a job-killing tax hike that will increase the cost of health care for Georgians and drive up the national debt. Thankfully, many Georgia legislators have taken a stand against the bed tax; Americans for Tax Reform applauds their resolve in the face of silly gimmicks on behalf of tax-and-spend special interests.”
This is why Deal is pushing for an early resolution. Faster is better, in the eyes of the governor.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider