Fundamental Tax Reform in Georgia Fizzles Out, Flourishes in Contrasting Models

During the 2015 Georgia legislative session, several bills were introduced including the “More Take Home Pay Act of 2015,” which would have lowered state income tax rates, raised the sales tax rate and broadened the sales tax base. For many years, policymakers in Georgia have shown considerable interest in tax reform that would reduce… more »

Hanging in the Balance: The Growing Risks of Unfunded Pensions

The global financial crisis brought investment risk to the forefront of the minds of state and local government officials as well as pensioners whose retirement income hung in the balance. Already struggling with the monumental issue of an aging population, many state’s and city’s pension fund shortfalls were further stressed by the impact of the… more »

Georgia Budget Outlook: Long Road Ahead, but There’s Room for Optimism

(This article was first published by Georgia Fiscal Management Council for its January newsletter.)

Georgia’s state budget has been through a long, tough period during and after the Great Recession. The good news is that this year it’s looking like the state is finally going to have some breathing room. That being… more »

Increasing Tax Digests Could Help Some Large Georgia School Districts

Georgia’s statewide per student property tax digest has been declining since the Great Recession, affecting school districts’ revenues and, thus, their budgets. Finally, after five straight years of declines, the statewide per student property tax digest is growing – a 1.6 percent increase between fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

The recent growth in the statewide… more »

Wither the State Sales Tax?

As hard hit as Georgia was by the Great Recession of 2007–09, the state’s economy was much larger in fiscal 2014 than in 2001. Georgia’s state gross domestic product (GDP) is up more than 14 percent over that time, adjusted for inflation, while real personal income is up more than 24 percent. Yet over that… more »

Georgia’s Constitution Restricts Non-Tax Economic Development Incentives, But Does it Matter?

Supporting business retention and recruitment is the primary goal for state and local economic development policy in the United States. Although there are many policies available for this purpose, economic development incentives are an often used and controversial tool. The typical economic development incentive package is comprised of both tax and non-tax incentives. The non-tax… more »