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KNOW Summer 2014

www.gae.org | 11 HB 755 | Revises definition of forest land fair market value ad valorem tax GAE Position: Neutral This bill makes significant changes to the property tax digest.   (1) allows for a recalculation of the forestland protection grants if an appeal of the fair market value is upheld. (2) the tax digest will not be approved if appeals exceed 5% of the digest; or 8% when there is a complete reassessment.  The tax digests in parts of the state will be delayed, impact revenue collections.   House Action: Passed Senate Action: Passed Governor’s Action: Signed 4/24/14 SR 415 passed in the state legislature this year. Signed 4/22/14. Now we have to beat it back at the ballot box on November 5 Constitutional Amendment will read on your ballot: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to prohibit the General Assembly from increasing the maximum state income tax rate?” ( ) YES ( √ ) NO All persons desiring to vote in favor of ratifying the proposed amendment shall vote “Yes.” All persons desiring to vote against ratifying the proposed amendment shall vote “No. If such amendment shall be ratified as provided in said Paragraph of the Constitution, it shall become a part of the Constitution of this state. VOTE NO This is... A first step toward the so-called “fair tax” SR 415 is only the first step toward drastically reducing or eliminating Georgia’s income tax in favor of a vastly expanded sales tax. But moving towards a super-sized sales tax would likely raise taxes on most Georgia families. It could also lead to big budget cuts in services like education, similar to what’s recently happened in other states. Radical income tax cuts in North Carolina, for example, will cost more than $650 million per year once fully implemented. A roadblock to future tax reform Georgia lawmakers worked to modernize the state’s outdated tax system several times in recent years, but the need for reform remains. Whether it’s two, 10 or 50 years from now, future General Assemblies deserve to have all options available for funding the people’s business. A future legislature, for example, might want to raise the top income tax rate in order to cut the sales tax or reduce other levies and fees.  This constitutional amendment if passed by voters would handicap that ability.   A hurdle to fully funding Georgia’s growing needs Georgia is a very low tax state by any measure, which is partly why lawmakers had to cut billions from education and other services over the last several years. Enacting a tax cap creates an arbitrary hurdle for lawmakers who want to reverse these trends by raising new revenue to invest in Georgia’s future.


KNOW Summer 2014
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