Georgia may be on its way to some meaningful tax reform. The first glimmer of hope was in Senator Josh McKoon’s (R-Columbus) SR 8 which would cap the state income tax at 5.5% in 2016 and then reduce it by 0.5% every year until the rate is zero.
Comes now Senate President Pro-Tem David Shafer (R-Duluth) with two bills in hand. Those bills, SR 412 and SR 415, are proposing amendments to the state constitution: to limit the state sales tax rate and provide a proportional reduction of the state income tax in the event the sales tax is increased and to provide a cap on the state income tax rate, respectively.
In an article by Jim Galloway, Senator Shafer indicated that this would draw a path for our state to ween itself off of the income tax:
“This creates a path for us to move from the income tax to the sales tax,” the Senate president pro tem said this afternoon. The income tax currently accounts for about half the state’s tax revenue.
Other uses of the sales tax by local governments would be grandfathered in, but in essence, the state government would be laying primary claim to retail sales as a future funding mechanism.
This is a step in the right direction towards meaningful tax reform in our state. I look forward to see if these amendments wind up on Governor Nathan Deal’s desk and, ultimately, put on the ballot for voters to consider.