Mike Klein Online

Georgia Revenue Up But Still Lags Behind 2008 and 2007

Mike Klein

Georgia announced November monthly net revenue collections that again provide indication the state might be slowly working its way out of the three-year recession. Georgia posted a sixth consecutive year-to-year monthly gain. The fiscal year is up 7.4 percent.

November collections totaled $1.268 billion, up $79.646 million from $1.188 billion in November one year ago. Net revenue is up almost $435 million after five months in the year-to-year comparison.  But a longer view suggests there is still a long road ahead before the state enjoys genuine fiscal good health.

November collections this year are far below $1.419 billion in November 2008 and $1.399 billion in November three years ago. Economists often point to December 2007 as the beginning of the recession, and some contend the recession ended in summer 2009. Others argue the recession will not end until unemployment returns to traditional levels, which might take several years.

Georgia legislators return to Atlanta in January. Challenges for the Republican – dominated General Assembly include economizing government, writing a Fiscal 2012 balanced budget and approving a tax code to change how the state earns revenue to support $18 billion in annual spending.

The Fiscal 2012 budget that must be in place before July 1 is generally considered to be about $1.7 billion short,  One reason is Georgia will lose $1.2 billion in federal stimulus funds.  This year those dollars paid for education, roads and lots of other projects, big and small.

An appointed council of economists and private industry executives that began working last summer will make new tax code recommendations to the General Assembly before Republican Governor-elect Nathan Deal’s inauguration office on Monday, January 10.

Sources familiar with the Georgia Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness expect proposed reductions to current personal income tax and sales tax rates. There could also be proposed changes to the corporate income rate and a long list of tax exemptions might be eliminated

Mike Klein is Editor at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

December 14, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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