Report: Ga. should avoid tax proposal | StatesboroHerald.com

15
Aug

Report: Ga. should avoid tax proposal | StatesboroHerald.com

Report: Ga. should avoid tax proposal

Picture this: It’s April 2016. Your income tax return is due. While you still have to pay the federal income tax, there is no longer a state income tax.

Sounds good, right?

Would you trade not having to pay Georgia’s income tax, which has a top rate of 6 percent, for a sales tax as high as 14.5 percent — more than double the current 7 percent sales tax rate in Bulloch County?

It could happen.

But, despite the idea’s growing popularity, the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Atlanta, urged caution in a report it issued last week. Such an exchange of taxes could actually hurt Georgia’s economy and lead to a higher tax burden on many businesses and lower- and middle-income individuals and families, the report says.

“One of core arguments made by the other side is that everyone comes out on top in the end because there is big economic boost from new jobs,” said Wesley Tharpe, a policy analyst for the institute and author of the report, called “Tax Shift Plan Threatens Georgia’s Future.” “We think that, based on the evidence, it’s highly unlikely those sorts of benefits would materialize.”

Three bills were filed during this year’s legislative session that would exchange income tax for a higher sales tax. All are alive and could be considered when lawmakers convene again under the Gold Dome in January.

via Report: Ga. should avoid tax proposal.

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