It’s a Budget!

Georgia 2016 RevenuesOn Friday, Governor Deal released his proposed 2016 state budget, a 446 page tome explaining how he proposes to spend the estimated $21.8 billion that will flow into the state’s coffers during the fiscal year beginning July 1st. That’s a lot of material to consider, which is why the rest of this week will be spent on hearings where lawmakers will begin to dig into the details.

We will be bringing you some of the details about what’s different between 2015 and 2016 (Hint: more money for education) during the week, but for the moment, let’s look at the basics, starting with the revenue the state expects to collect next year.

Source Amount Percent
Individual Income Tax  $ 9,839,041,000 45.2%
Corporate Income Tax 995,534,000 4.6%
Sales Tax     5,593,609,000 25.7%
Motor Fuel 998,184,000 4.6%
Tobacco Taxes 208,933,900 1.0%
Alcohol Taxes 190,315,500 0.9%
Motor Vehicle Licensing 347,238,700 1.6%
Title Ad Valorem Tax 805,362,430 3.7%
Other Taxes 396,055,000 1.8%
Interest, Fees and Sales     1,273,354,938 5.8%
Lottery Funds 977,772,176 4.5%
Other Funds / Payments 157,563,670 0.7%
Total Revenues $  21,782,964,314

Georgia 2016 ExpendituresEstimated revenues are expected to grow by over $670 million, including an additional $475 million in personal income tax collections and $253 million in sales and used taxes. Three fourths of the state’s revenue is derived from income and sales taxes.

Where does it go? The governor’s budget proposal divides expenditures into policy areas, such as “Educated Georgia” or “Responsible and Efficient Government.” I’ve started with those basic categories, and broke out several major sub-areas into their own categories to make it easier to see where the money is going.

Source Amount Percent
K-12 Education   $  8,494,371,582 39.0%
Board of Regents      2,018,020,479 9.3%
Other Education      1,434,269,373 6.6%
Dept. Community Health      3,062,325,153 14.1%
Behavioral Health          984,135,962 4.5%
Other Healthy Georgia          814,271,990 3.7%
Dept. Corrections      1,195,724,513 5.5%
Dept. Juvenile Justice          312,701,460 1.4%
Other Safe Georgia          327,792,973 1.5%
Government Operations          795,537,489 3.7%
Growing Georgia          277,608,064 1.3%
Transportation          876,295,966 4.0%
Debt Repayment      1,189,909,310 5.5%
Total Expenditures $  21,782,964,314

Education takes up almost 55% of the proposed budget, with the largest share of that going to elementary and secondary education. Another 22+ percent goes to health related expenditures. Both agriculture and economic development are grouped into the “Growing Georgia” category. And, it’s worth it to note that “Everything else,” including the operations of the courts, legislature, governor’s office, and the Secretaries of State, Insurance and Labor spend less than 4% of revenues.

Ultimately, though, these income and expense tables don’t tell the complete story. That’s because just over half of what the state will spend in FY 2016 will be funds from the Federal government. That’s $22.8 billion, a billion dollars more than what Georgia contributes. And, of course, the federal dollars are ultimately paid for by Georgia taxpayers. That’s also part of why Rep. Scot Turner of Holly Springs filed this bill, but I digress.

Let’s take a look at the combined numbers:

Source  Georgia Amount  Federal Amount  Combined Expenditures Percent
K-12 Education   $  8,494,371,582  $  2,110,093,407  $  10,604,464,989 23.8%
Board of Regents 2,018,020,479 4,767,772,976 6,785,793,455 15.2%
Other Education 1,434,269,373 810,826,344 2,245,095,717 5.0%
Dept. Community Health 3,062,325,153 10,596,538,418 13,658,863,571 30.6%
Behavioral Health 984,135,962 177,567,743 1,161,703,705 2.6%
Other Healthy Georgia 814,271,990 1,590,675,589 2,404,947,579 5.4%
Dept. Corrections 1,195,724,513 14,052,204 1,209,776,717 2.7%
Dept. Juvenile Justice 312,701,460 6,413,842 319,115,302 0.7%
Other Safe Georgia 327,792,973 165,478,615 493,271,588 1.1%
Government Operations 795,537,489 456,809,118 1,252,346,607 2.8%
Growing Georgia 277,608,064 425,998,184 703,606,248 1.6%
Transportation 876,295,966 1,682,713,013 2,559,008,979 5.7%
Debt Repayment 1,189,909,310 18,260,833 1,208,170,143 2.7%
Total Expenditures  $  21,782,964,314  $  22,823,200,286  $  44,606,164,600


Georgia Federal 2016 ExpendituresThis table and pie chart (click on any of the charts for bigger versions) provides a truer representation of how the state spends its money. Even with almost eight billion of federal money being poured into education, it’s now only 44% of the total. Healthcare makes up 38.6% of the total. That leaves just over 17% of total expenditures for everything else.

Everything else includes 4.5% for criminal justice, including prisons and the parole system, 5.77% for transportation, 2.7% for debt service, 1.6% for agriculture and economic development, and 2.8% for everything else.


  1. Bobloblaw says:

    GA is overly dependent on the Individual Income Tax and need more from Corporate Income Tax. This could lead to large deficits in recessions

  2. saltycracker says:

    It is past time to end the political playground of corporate tax, property taxes by subjective evaluations for owning something and revise our entire code. Time to get more revenue at the time monies/ownerships/services are changing hands without rebates, exceptions and exclusions. Society is better served when all are treated equally at taxation.

  3. A Dapper Gentleman says:

    Increasing our corporate tax is not what is needed in our time of need. Pushing businesses out of the state is a one way ticket to the road of serfdom.

  4. Just Nasty and Mean says:

    I particularly don’t like the $6.8 BILLION—15.2% of the total budget—we slide under the door to an un-elected, un-accountable to taxpayers, Board of Regents. They are spending million$ on capital building projects named for the elites that run our education system, while the existing building utilization is under 50%! Meanwhile, they are getting approx. a $billion/yr. from HOPE, and tuition and fees are through the roof!!
    It is time SOMEONE gets a hold on this beast that is OUT OF CONTROL with taxpayer funds!

  5. Baker says:

    You mentioned it above but damn it is annoying how none of these charts ever include the money from the Feds. It seems almost as if people are hiding something. And as you mentioned, the Federal dollars are ultimately paid for by Georgia taxpayers…except for the extra bit we get back. A sadly common theme amongst southern states.

    Georgia gets something like $1.08 for every dollar put in (I think that’s what it is, one of y’all may know). Funny enough, California and New York put more in than they get back…

    There are a zillion reasons for all this but it’s worth noting and something for conservatives to be aware of and, I think, try and remedy.

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