The “Getting Better” Plan

Yesterday Speaker Richardson was gracious enough to speak to members of Americans for Prosperity during their annual Capitol Day. He outlined what his current plans are with regard to tax reform and I have to say it is a program I can get behind.

I didn’t get a chance to get bill numbers from the Speaker but his plan currently comes in four parts:

1. A Constitutional Amendment to freeze property reassessments to 2% of the value of a property. Therefore your local taxing jurisdiction can’t decide in one year that your property which was appraised at $100,000 is now worth $300,000 and triple your property tax burden. The most a taxing jurisdiction can re-assess your property to would be $102,000. The cap on business property would be 3%. This basically forces cities and counties to vote to raise taxes if they want to increase revenue and allow the citizens to hold them accountable for said actions. Senator Rogers has a similar bill he is working on in the Senate.

2. There would be a cap on the amount local governments can raise their taxes before the tax increase would have to be put to the voters in the form of a ballot question.

3. There would be an immediate phase out of the grocery and lotto sales tax exemptions and a gradual phase in of the Personal Services sales tax (as outlined in previous versions of the GREAT Plan). This would allow for:

4. An immediate phase out of the ad-valorum taxes on automobiles and an eventual phase out of the school component of local property taxes.

I’ve got to say, I kind of like this plan. The reassessment and tax increase limitations place more power in the hands of the people to decide how much their cities and counties will tax them. The phase-out of the school property tax simplifies QBE funding and moves us more towards a system where the money follows the child and not the district.

8 comments

  1. Burdell says:

    People have been begging for the reassessment freeze for years. It’s been introduced in one form or another for years. Richardson has always prevented it from being considered.

    Why does he suddenly support it?

    I like the result, but I question the motivation.

  2. SouthFultonGuy says:

    As the real sales price of your home drops 10-15% because of the mortgage crisis and the glut of homes, perhaps you’ll just want a freeze on higher not lower assesments.

  3. IndyInjun says:

    “Phasing in” the sales tax on services would just confuse the new ‘retailers.’ If accountants, lawyers, and others are to be made ‘retailers’ it best be done as simply as possible and at the same time.

    I still don’t see the governor and Senate going along with much more than #1.

  4. Still Looking says:

    Tax assessors in metro Atlanta stay current, and assessments don’t swing by 300%. That is an unrealistic example. Property taxes reflect changes in the fair market. Now you want protection from the free market? Whose the Mommy party again?

    People see their tax bills and they know when they increase. The average voter doesn’t care if it was an actual vote to increase or a back-door increase. They can hold their local officials accountable already.

    And taxing groceries is a bad idea, too.

  5. suwtiger says:

    Assessment caps are a bad thing because they force up property tax rates to compensate for the loss of value that the caps create. They dont force local officials to “face the music” as Senator Rogers is suggesting. Only caps on tax rates do that. Sad he is leading us on this front and he doesnt understand the process front to back. He suggestion to cap non-homestead property reveals his motivation, to make nice with those with the big properties that sand to win if this happens.

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