From THINK PROGRESS:
One of the organizing principles of the conservative movement revolves around always cutting taxes and resisting any moves towards raising revenues. Hundreds of conservatives have even signed Grover Norquist’s pledge to never, under any circumstances, support a tax increase.
Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA) made tax cuts a major part of his campaign promise last fall.
Now that Deal is Governor, the state legislature is currently drafting major tax legislation. Deal has been a guiding hand in the negotiations over the bill, and stands behind the latest version of the bill being debated among senate and house legislators. The bill does, as Deal promised, cut many taxes.
For example, it lowers the state personal income tax rate from 6 to 4.5 percent. Yet at the same time, the bill is being touted as being revenue neutral — meaning that revenue has to come from somewhere. Georgia Republicans, under the leadership of Deal, have decided to make up the difference by eliminating a whole host of tax exemptions and increases in sales taxes. The end result? Georgians making over $180,000 would see steep tax cuts while middle class Georgians making between $20,000 and $180,000 would see tax hikes.
While negotiations over the tax bill are far from over, it appears that Deal and his Republican colleagues are standing behind a template that is becoming all too familiar for right-wing legislators: cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans and then demand that middle class and working class Main Street Americans pay out more in tax hikes or in reduced spending to health care, education, and other important investments.
From Georgia Politico:
The Republicans in the General Assembly have been quick to let you all believe that they are lowering the income tax rate from 6.0% to 4.5%. And that is technically true, but it is not going to lower your tax bill.
To compare what someone would be paying in GA taxes with the new tax payment system compared to the old:
Someone making $10,000 a year now would take a $2,700 exemption and a $2,300 deduction, leaving them with $5,000 taxable income. Their GA tax liability under the current table would have them owe $110.00 in Georgia income taxes ($50.00 base rate plus 3% of $2,000). Under the new tax system, they would get neither the $2,700 exemption nor the $2,300 deduction, and the full $10,000 would be taxed at 4.5%. Their tax bill for the year would be $450.00, or almost five times as high as last year.
Someone making $500,000, on the other hand, right now would likewise get the total $5,000 of exemptions and deductions for a taxable income of $495,000 (excluding other business and possible deductions). Their tax bill for this year would be $29,440. Under the new plan, their tax bill would be $22,500, a decrease of over $7,000 for their tax bill.
In other words, rich people will pay less, middle class will pay more.
This is just the income tax. Republicans are also increasing sales tax, the most regressive form of tax, on many services middle class Georgians use everyday.
This GOP plan basically follows middle class Georgians around to see what else they can be taxed on. They got your cell phone, they got your television, they got your vehicle, what are they going to get next?
Isn’t that just peachy?