On Track for a Surplus

This should be encouraging. Of course the question will become whether there are tax cuts, savings, or more spending because of the surplus.

Three-quarters of the way through the fiscal year, Georgia is collecting $1 billion more in taxes than it did during the same period of 2005.
A state Department of Revenue report released Monday shows that revenue climbed 6.5 percent in March over March 2005, an increase of about $73.2 million. For fiscal 2006, which ends June 30, collections are up 9.6 percent, or $1.028 billion, over the same period in 2005.

8 comments

  1. Demonbeck says:

    The General Assembly should cut taxes, but instead of merely doing that they should conduct a mandatory 10% Reduction in Force in all of our major departments – not at the ground level, but at the top. Make departments like GDEcD, DOT, DNR, DOE, DOR, etc. run more efficiently.

  2. debbie0040 says:

    If you go to a department store and pay too much for an item, then you are entitled to a refund . Georgia taxpayers should be entitled to a refund or tax cut. If the politicians keep the surplus, they will end up spending it.

  3. Skeptical says:

    Sorry folks, but your GOP tax cuts/corporate welfare giveaway program are killing us little people. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my property taxes went up again last year. They seem to go up quite a good bit every year now. Maybe it’s because the money that should be collected, via taxes, to be used for schools, road projects, etc. just isn’t there because of tax cuts. I’d rather do my duty as a citizen and pay for the infrastructure of my county and country than see the richest of the rich get more money back. But I guess that’s just me.

  4. GBPI says:

    Before we debate how to spend it we need to understand some basic facts about the so-called surplus. The 06 budget is based on a $883 million (5.6%) revenue increase over FY 05. In other words to make the budget revenues need to grow close to $900 million.

    If revenues continue to grow the next three months at the current 9 month rate of 9.6% the total revenue increase will total approximately $1.5 billion. This will result in a potential surplus of $600 million.

    By law the Revenue Shortfall Reserve (RSR) should have a minimum of 4% of prior year revenues. This would total about $640 million at the end of FY 2006. All surplus funds must be placed into the RSR. Only 1% of prior year revenues ($160 million) can be appropriated out of the RSR for education purposes (enrollment growth) when RSR is below $640 million.

    RSR curreently has $225 million. An additional $640 million to the RSR would total $865 million. The 1% education appropriation would leave the RSR at $705 million. This would leave only $65 million for tax cuts or additional spending.

    Now…if revenues only increase 7% or so the next three months (still strong growth) the increase for the year would fall below 9%.
    This would wipe out the extra $65 million.

    If you think of a surplus as funds to either spend or give back to taxpayers next legislative session…..such a surplus will most likely not exist. What we will have is a minimally full reserve.

  5. tobin smith says:

    If your local taxes are increasing you need to talk to your local elected officials about being more fiscally prudent.

    If the state has a billion $ surplus then it needs to return a significant portion to the taxpayers. We need a good reserve, but the rest should not be spent.

    Let’s see which statewide candidates endorse that idea.

  6. Skeptical says:

    tobin, I live in one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. My local taxes go up every year to make up for the crazy amount of money that must be spent to make up for the shortfall in education because our schools are mandated to meet some one size fits all standard.

    If the state has a billion dollar surplus, it needs to do right by it’s citizens and invest that money into education, healthcare and other improvements for the state, with a portion being reserved. It’s called budgeting and I see it’s something that no Republican, statewide or nationally, is good at. Pay for what you need first, save a bit, then spend (or return to taxpayers) if there is enough. And thanks to Georgie Porgie and a Republican controlled congress- there will never be enough now. I find it more than ironic that we can build schools (that we knocked down in the first place), but we can’t properly fund the ones we have here. Why should my tax dollars go to fund a war that was based on lies and gets my fellow Americans killed on a daily basis?

    Or why should my tax dollars be spent to provide healthcare to employees of Wal-Mart (GA’s largest employer) when Wal-Mart is too much of a greedy bastard to pay a living wage?

  7. JulieSMI says:

    I can see Glenn and Jerry salivating now at the table full of pork. I’m sure St. Simon’s needs another park, Jerry, or some lights on a ball field for those unfortunate poor people on the island.

  8. atlantaman says:

    “Or why should my tax dollars be spent to provide healthcare to employees of Wal-Mart (GA’s largest employer) when Wal-Mart is too much of a greedy bastard to pay a living wage?”

    Your assumption makes it seems as if Wal-Mart has a money tree out in the back that the CEO can just shake to pay for the healthcare costs. There is nothing greedy about Wal-Mart, actually the only greedy ones are the folks who shop there and take advantage of their relentless pursuit of low costs. Forcing Wal-Mart to pay a higher wage or more healthcare costs would simply mean they would have to charge more for their items.

    Mr. Hourly Wage, who is barely scraping by the way it is, will have to start cutting into his kid’s college fund to buy dog food and toliet paper at Wal-Mart due to all of the kneejerk, unfunded mandates.

    It’s not how much money one makes, it’s how much he can buy with what he makes. Wal-Mart makes life affordable for millions of people.

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