Senate committee passes budget, tax reform coming to House floor

The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville), signed off on Gov. Nathan Deal’s $19.2 billion dollar budget this morning. It’ll now head to the floor for passage, and eventually to conference where the two chambers will iron out their differences. You can find the House version of the budget here (PDF).

In other legislative news, the tax reform bill cleared committee this morning. Lori Geary reports via Twitter than that the House will take it up today, where it’s expected to pass. Charlie has already touched on what’s in the proposal, but Jim Galloway has a copy of the fiscal note posted on his blog. Page 5 has a breakdown of all the revenue figures.

I posted my thoughts on the legislature’s rush to push through the tax reform package yesterday on my personal blog.


  1. debbie0040 says:

    A conservative coalition that includes tea party groups, Georgia Conservatives In Action, Madison Forum, Georgia Right To Life and other groups voted to oppose the tax reform bill.. Conservative activists are LIVID over the way it has been handled……

    • CobbGOPer says:

      It’s so funny to me to watch these guys at the Gold Dome, some of whom I helped put there whether as a volunteer or a consultant, act just like the Democrats did when they ran everything. I still remember the howls of indignation at the way Democrats at that time basically told everyone how it was going to be. And now the GOP acts the same way: “Shut up and let us work, you’re too stupid to understand what we do here. But don’t forget to vote for us in November (like you have any other choices, since we’re all pretty much un-opposed, suckers)!”

  2. debbie0040 says:

    There are some that need to worry about July-not November….I have not talked to one person that wants the GOP to have a “super majority”…

    Republicans howled over the way Pelosi and Reid did during the ObamaCare debate – rushing votes before people had time to read it and analyze it.. They are doing the same thing…

    • bowersville says:

      If the only criteria you are going to use is to single out Georgia Senators according to which side of an internal power struggle they are on…and give the others on the other side of the fence that are equally ethically challenged a pass…please don’t waste our time.

      Until the people overturn an election at the ballot box, ethics reform is a toothless tiger. The only thing that should matter is the consequence of the ballot box and until that is recognized nothing else matters.

      • debbie0040 says:

        “If the only criteria you are going to use is to single out Georgia Senators according to which side of an internal power struggle they are on…and give the others on the other side of the fence that are equally ethically challenged a pass…please don’t waste our time.”

        I can guarantee that will have absolutely no bearing whatsoever. Just stay tuned…

        Whose side in the House or Senate someone is on is not relevant at all in regard to who will have primary opposition.

    • rrrrr says:

      This really just goes to prove if the Republican Party likes to recycle OLD Democrats, it will act the same way as those “claimed” to have been replaced.
      And now back to Speaker Murphy, er I mean Speaker Ralston, I keep getting these 2 confused more and more every day. My apologies to the relatives of former Speaker Murphy.

      • Three Jack says:

        Passed 155-9. Anybody know who the 9 dissenters are…they will quickly become very popular.

  3. debbie0040 says:

    There is a great deal of anger over the way this bill was handled. We are looking at having a protest at the Capitol over it.. Should be interesting… I have not see activists so angry over an issue since ObamaCare. People that would have supported the bill had it been handled correctly are livid and have said it shows just how arrogant leadership is…This vote will make our recruitment of primary opponents much easier.

    This tax bill is not a tea party bill or Republican bill. It is a bill that picks winners and losers. Isn’t that what the GOP should be against? People purchasing a car will pay more up front and that will harm the car sales business. I have already heard from senior citizens incensed. The bill had good portions that we could support but thrown in is crap we could not support. It is like someone gave you a sh!t sandwich and say it is the only thing there is to eat and if you are really hungry you will eat it or starve. I would rather starve.. It is the old sleight of hand RINOs use – pay no attention to my big government policies and the fact I am ethically challenged because I oppose abortion and gay marriage. Don’t look at my record on anything other than those two issues and oh yes one other issue – illegal immigration. As long as I vote right on those issues it really doesn’t matter how I vote on other issues. Voters do care about fiscal and small government not just social issues. Those old RINO tricks will no longer work.

    • Scot says:

      The process is just as important as the content. To rush through something as important as tax reform without any opportunity to receive feedback from the public doesn’t pass the smell test. Not to mention the bill was simply a shell game, moving the tax burden around without actual addressing the need for a real overhaul.

  4. ted in bed says:

    The analysis is poorly done. In fact, I’d bet they were told to make it look the way it does. Some observations:

    1) The time frame is 3 years ….. it needs to be longer to see the net impact to Georgians.

    2) The word estimate is used in every section. The didn’t examine past data and determined trends to ground their estimates. The way this document was worded, some of the estimates were pulled out of their arses.

    3) They assumed demographics will be steady at 2009 levels but we know Boomers are going to retire in greater numbers … so that collected tax will be much greater…. assuming that the retires don’t move down the road to FL.

    4) 7% licensing tax on top of 6-9% sales tax to buy a car. Seriously? You’ll end up with much less car sales, much less. You’ll end up with alot of cars registered in FL or SC. Basically, the car license tax will bring in less money than expected.

    No wonder the Republicans are ramming this through. I’m very disappointed in Nathan Deal. This is a bad move, done for the wrong reasons, and will negatively impact our economy.

  5. debbie0040 says:

    As far as the private sales of vehicles, the estimates are way off as far as revenue generated. People that purchase a vehicle will pay a higher price for the vehicle than the price that will be on the bill of sale… Buyers will want to save money by lowering the tax they pay. This is common practice in states that have this law…

    I have come to realize that when the Democrats were in power they had a for sale sign on the Capitol and received all kinds of lobbyist gifts. They rammed legislation through without giving voters a chance to vet legislation and had this is the best you will get-take it or leave it.

    I see no difference with the Republicans in power….

  6. ATL says:

    They are doing away with both the sales tax and ad valorem tax and replacing both with a one time title fee.

    • ted in bed says:

      Ahh. I didn’t catch that. So, we can add new car dealers/companies like Government Motors to list of winners and Georgians who buy used cars as the losers. Yah! I’m a loser again with this bill.

      Another loser is the local governments and potentially the state goverment since some revenue is guaranteed by the state. The revenue flows from the license tax will experience wild fluctuations based on the state of the economy and car sales. When times are good, the money will flow in. When times are bad, the money will stop. The advantage of the ad-valorem was that it was an annual flow of cash which was fairly steady and predictable.

      I predict the “payoff to the new car industry campaign contributors”, er License Fee, will lead to unpredictable revenue flows to government timed to be the lowest at the worst times. This will lead to dramatic revenue shortfalls for government at the very time money is needed.

  7. debbie0040 says:

    “House Republicans mentioned twice during the debate Tuesday that Grover Norquist, an influential conservative voice on tax issues, said the bill does not violate his principles against new taxes, but they failed to mention he also found fault in the legislation.

    Josh Culling, the state affairs manager at Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform in Washington, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Georgia’s legislation was “disappointing”

    Culling called the plan “a net tax cut,” but he disagreed with people who call it tax reform.

    “Tax reform is about lowering marginal rates and broadening the base,” he said. “This does nothing to marginal rates.”

    Culling called the Internet sales tax “stupid.”

    I guess the Republicans that voted for this bill can say that they cut taxes before they raised them…

  8. Jawgadude says:

    Ted, my understanding was the auto purchase fee was instead of the sales tax? I don’t think the auto dealers association would have backed it otherwise. And Debbie, on the private sales, if it’s not in the current bill, I’m sure it will be amended in the future so the amount of tax will be based upon the NADA book value and not what the handwritten bill of sale says.

    • debbie0040 says:

      Even more problems Jawgadude as some vehicles don’t sell for the NADA value.. The Republicans that voted for this will catch grief over this and they deserve to.

      This is a vote that will not be forgotten just like the ObamaCare vote…..

      • ted in bed says:

        What happens when my car is totaled from an accident? Does the Insurance cover the License Registration tax or even compute that into my car’s fair value?

        I know the answer already. I’m the loser.

        Thanks Judson and Nathan.

  9. Jawgadude says:

    If the senate accepts this bill as is and Deal signs it, I will forever renounce my Republican status.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Welcome to the rapidly growing ranks of the political independents, brother. Pull up a seat and partake in your favorite alcoholic beverage while we watch these two parties completely wreck what’s left of this state and once great nation.

  10. debbie0040 says:

    Tax overhaul draws mixed reaction

    The pace was deliberate — legislators learned last year that introducing a tax overhaul measure earlier in the session is an invitation for opponents to pick it apart. This year’s bill was unveiled with only days to go before the final gavel falls.

    The grab-bag of tax cuts and tax increases would tweak the state’s economy in ways that are difficult to predict. A new sales tax on internet commerce would generate an estimated $47.7 million in new revenue, while higher income tax exemptions for married couples would lower state revenue by $362.6 million, according to the Fiscal Research Center at Georgia State University.

    Predictably, internet vendors aren’t wild about it. “It would make us less competitive,” said John Drummond, owner of the Marietta-based, which sells several thousand banjos a year.

    But some internet shoppers said a tax won’t change their purchasing habits.

    Megan Lobe, an avid shopper who lives in Smyrna, said she’s made seven purchases via Amazon in the past month, for a total of $120.77. Her sales tax would have totaled only a few dollars, she said, not enough to deter her from the convenience of shopping online.

    “Not paying sales tax for online purchases has been a nice perk, but I can honestly say that is never a consideration in my purchasing decisions,” said Lobe.

    Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst of e-business retail at Forrester Research, said changing the tax code isn’t likely to bring a large pay-off to the state.

    “My perspective is that in a time of tight budgets it’s seen as an easy win, but the reality is that imposing online sales tax mandates won’t be a massive windfall to any state and is yet another tax that consumers are obligated to face,” Mulpuru said via email.

    • Calypso says:

      Why do most insist on calling this abomination of special interest tax band-aids “tax overhaul” or even “tax reform”?

      Nothing has been “overhauled” or “reformed” at all. Just certain entities have been deemed winners or losers as dictated by certain legislators and their lobbyist handlers.

  11. SmyrnaSAHM says:

    Who has two thumbs, holds local elected office, and has yet to have a conversation with any Legislative representatives regarding this bill’s impact on her city’s bottom line? This gal! Hahahaboohoo.

    The AJC reported that the impact on local governments could be more than $200 million. Legislative reps are saying that, really, they don’t know what the “overhaul” means for local governments. This approach reminds me of that David Sedaris essay where he wrote about the warning Dutch parents get to give their kids about St. Nicholas: “They might put some candy in your shoes, they might stuff you in a sack and take you to Spain, or they might just pretend to kick you. We don’t know for sure, but we want you to be prepared.”

  12. debbie0040 says:

    Disappointed in the process of the tax bill but House leadership should bear the blame. Many House members did not like the process but voted for what they thought was a tax cut bill. More and More is coming out about it and people are finding out the bill is bad. This is why the vote was rushed. They knew the local governments and other groups would oppose it once it was properly analyzed.. I am checking the budget that was passed but it looks like there is over 44 million in the budget to begin to implement ObamaCare. (HB742 – line 81.10 page 63 and 87.15 page 70)That money could have been used to fund some of the good portions of the tax bill and not have to raise taxes. If ObamaCare is not overturned, then the Legislature could pass a suplemental budget and include money for it. They need to remove these line items and use the money to implement some of the portions of the tax bill they passed.. Question is what happens to that money if ObamaCare is over turned? Will it go to pet projects?

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