State Rep. John Lunsford wrote about the GREAT plan today over at his blog:
Unfortunately, there has been some confusion about the details of the current plan to eliminate property taxes. We are not proposing to raise the sales tax or income tax rates. When HR 900 was originally written, it was intended simply as a framework to open debate, gather ideas, and obtain input. Since then, we have received complaints, suggestions, and opinions from citizens all across the state and that is exactly what we wanted.
The GREAT Plan calls for a sales, use, and service tax of 4 percent. It also calls for an elimination of many sales tax exemptions that special interests have accumulated over the years. By taxing services and eliminating most exemptions, we can generate the same amount of money being generated from the property tax, and we can eliminate all property taxes in Georgia.
Local counties, cities and school districts will be guaranteed to receive no less than the amount they are currently receiving. If local control is what a community wants, they may continue local option sales taxes such as the SPLOST and ELOST, all of which will continue to be determined by the vote of the citizens.
We have opened a dialogue in this state on serious reform of taxes so that Georgia may lead the nation. I welcome any and all discussion and debate about tax reform and HR 900. Over the coming months, we will hold hearings and continue to seek advice. I look forward to hearing from you and working together to make Georgia a GREAT place to live, work, and raise a family.. If you would like to reach me, please call me at (404) 656-7573 or write me at: State Rep. John Lunsford, 401, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 or e-mail me at [email protected].
The Governor weighed in on the idea as well:
Perdue says he supports studying a plan by House Speaker Glen Richardson that would eliminate all property taxes in exchange for a higher sales tax.
He also says it bares studying the elimination of income tax as well.
“I think everyone agrees that property tax isn’t a pleasant surprise during the Christmas holidays, most of the time when they’re coming due, but neither are income taxes in the spring on April 15th as well,” says Perdue.