So then cut the budget

That seems to be the answer to this report.

A new independent study suggests [Tax Jesus’s] plan to eliminate property taxes could tear a multi-billion-dollar hole in the state budget.<>The analysis by members of Georgia State University’s Fiscal Research Center, found that it would be difficult for the state to take in enough money to make up for lost property tax revenue solely by eliminating most current sales tax exemptions and taxing services, such as lawn care, haircuts and child care.

The Tax Jesus gonna smite them for that.

Of course, I do think that, at the end of the day, this will be the fatal flaw in the plan — the uncertainty of it, the unknown.


  1. Decaturguy says:

    Cut spending? What? That has never been part of Richardson’s plans.

    No, he just wants to redistrubute the wealth among cities and counties by centralizing taxation in Big State Government and himself. What a Socialist.

  2. Jmac says:

    Echoing Decaturguy.

    The Speaker has long said everything will stay the same and you’ll pay less. Apparently, neither are true.

  3. Doug Deal says:

    I agree with Decaturguy.

    Republicans have bought into the myth that Republicans are Republicans, when in actuality we are on a safari in Africa, runing with RINO’s.

    I am not opposed to eliminating property taxes. I am against, in the strongest way, diverting all revenue in the state to Atlanta to be doled out by the will and grace of legislature. Altanta Georgia.

  4. dorian says:

    Has anyone else noticed that republicans only espouse for ‘smaller government’ when they are the minority party?

  5. Adam says:

    Do any other states have no property tax and allow the state government to distribute sales and services taxes to counties and municipalities? Just wondering if there is a model somewhere for this plan that can be studied.

  6. suwtiger says:

    I cant wait for the politicians to suggest they have better data than a State University’s Econ. Dept.

  7. Jace Walden says:

    Contrary to what Earl Ehrhart thinks, I would actually LOVE to see this come to a vote. I think it would be overwhelmingly voted down.

    I would like to see the commercials leading up to the referendum that expose Richardson and Ehrhart for what they really are: Big-government, big-spending, fiscally liberal and irresponsible Republicans.

    Additionally, I would like to see them exposed as the liars they are when the only “80%” they see is the 80% that vote “no” on this stupid plan.

  8. Romegaguy says:

    I would be willing to bet that steak dinner that Debbie owes me that if it were to come to a vote, the people of Georgia would approve it. If I am wrong, good luck in trying to collect…

    I am trying to keep an open mind to this whole tax plan. I believe that it is a work in progress (as is most legislation) and problems can be worked out…

  9. Still Looking says:

    Speaker Richardson is full of more gas than my entire family after Thanksgiving dinner. The proposal by the Speaker is a classic over-reach. Metro Atlanta is faced with worst in the world class traffic. Four million people are facing severe water shortages and we’re still near the bottom of the SAT list. So now Richardson and Republicans are proposing a tax gimmick that could jeapordize our States finances. This is reckless fiscal management when we are staring in the face of monumental problems. The GOP leadership has lost their collective minds. Glenn needs to step outside and let this one go. Hopefully there won’t be any collateral damage.

  10. CobbGOPer says:

    “Don’t mess wit de Jesus!”

    Sorry, that’s just one of the funniest lines from The Big Lebowski, and every time Erick mentions the “Tax Jesus,” John Turturro pops into my head screaming that line.

    Yeah, I’m bored. Think I’ll go play golf.

  11. StevePerkins says:

    I agree with Jace… I’d love to see it come to a reforendum vote. I grew up in rural Georgia. As soon as a few advertisements air, pointing out that this will take school funding decisions away from rural counties and into the hands of the “Great Satan” (i.e. Atlanta) instead… Erick’s wife may be the only Georgian south of the airport to vote in favor. I don’t know if the “yes” support in the city could be high enough to offset what is so plainly a raw deal for the rest of the state (who deeply resent the city in the first place).

  12. Chris says:

    I was talking with one State Rep last night about the plan. It seems like the details are still is flux, but the speaker is looking to see how he can fix the local control issues.

    The problem is Sine Die is about 6 months away, and I don’t see how they can solidify and then research the consequences of a plan in time for a vote.

  13. Rusty says:

    I don’t know if it would be funnier if this passed or it didn’t pass. Newspaper stories and blog posts would write themselves for years to follow.

    State revenues fell 47 percent this year. Among other sweeping cuts, the University of Georgia was forced to shut down this semester and eliminate its football program. When reached for comment, House Speaker Glenn Richardson said, “Oh… shit.”

    I think I’ll start calling him Tax Judas as well. That’s catchy.

  14. Chris says:

    And UGA shutting down its fooball program might get me to like the plan……

    More likely the folks at UGA will cancel Remedial Algebra for Math Majors rather than cut the fooball program.

  15. IndyInjun says:

    Nah, the budget won’t be cut, they will just hire hundreds of sales tax auditors to use existing powers to audit individuals, estimate the sales/use liability if the unfortunates did not keep records, and go after those untaxed $millions of internet purchases and services.

    The rest would be cowed into coughing up the taxes.

  16. NonPartisanGA says:

    GSU study: Tough to make tax reform plan work

    Atlanta Business Chronicle – by Ryan Mahoney Staff Writer

    A new study by Georgia State University researchers raises questions as to whether House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s plan to do away with property taxes would raise enough to make up the $9 billion difference.

    The speaker’s plan would eliminate sales tax exemptions and tax services performed by everyone from $500-an-hour attorneys to $15-an-hour barbers to generate that $9 billion a year.

    An expanded sales tax could raise up to $9.3 billion a year, the study found — but only if the state eliminated virtually all exemptions (including a major one on the sale of raw materials to manufacturers) and taxed practically all services (including business-to-business transactions).

    In a story in the Oct. 12 print edition of Atlanta Business Chronicle — which went to press before the study was released — Richardson discussed the possibility of taxing business-to-business transactions, an idea that is strongly opposed by businesses as well as conservative and liberal economic thinktanks.

    The study’s authors note their work is not intended as an analysis of the speaker’s plan, which figures to get top billing during the 2008 session of the state legislature.

  17. Jason Pye says:

    A drop in revenues is the only positive of the tax plan, outside of scrapping property taxes. That said, taking local sovereignty away is too much for me.

    If the Speaker can fix that, then I’ll reconsider my position.

  18. IndyInjun says:

    But Jason, the citizens are pretty much left alone by tax auditors under the current blend of sales and property taxes.

    When the revenue depends overwhelmingly from a sales tax for the state and totally so for the locals, won’t the Georgia Department of Revenue be expanded and directed to pursue sales tax audits of individuals.

    The DOR has broad and intrusive powers to audit consumers, principally derived from the specific responsibility of purchasers for the tax, the requirement that purchasers keep records/receipts, and the court-affirmed ability to estimate your liability if no records were kept.

    Don’t these powers figure to be used when the government becomes so dependent on sales tax?

    This is also a fallacy of the Fair???tax which doesn’t eliminate the IRS, only transform it.

  19. The Comma Guy says:

    Anyone else getting scared that the Tax Jesus is getting us to focus on a plan that no one can figure out a way to make it work while he’s got another plan hiding in the shadows? When he stands up and the GREAT plan gets bombed, some of his Hawks will show up with a new plan that gets support since we’ve been so focused on tax reform this summer.

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