Georgia state tax revenue bonanza continues through January

ATLANTA (AP) — Tax revenues continue to roll into Georgia state coffers, supporting Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan for a big spending boost and a possible tax cut.

Figures released Friday show Georgia’s general fund raised $17.8 billion through Jan. 31. That’s $2.7 billion, or 18%, ahead of last year’s pace. In the first seven months of the 2022 budget year, the state is on track to raise $30.5 billion, more than $3 billion more than the $27.3 billion lawmakers have designated for expenses.

Personal income tax is 16% seven months ahead of last year, while corporate income tax is 32% ahead. Sales taxes are 18% in advance. The state economist warned last month that the sharp year-over-year increases are likely to ease in the coming months as earnings begin to be compared to months in which the US economy The state was more robust than at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kemp has proposed increasing spending for the current budget year, which ends June 30, by more than $4 billion. This includes using $1.6 billion of last year’s surplus to provide income tax refunds to the state – $250 to each person filing US income taxes. State, $375 for each single person heading a household and $500 for married persons declaring jointly. Kemp also wants to make one-time payments of $2,000 to teachers, $5,000 to state employees and $1,000 to other K-12 workers, including school bus drivers, part-time employees partial and cafeteria employees. Finally, Kemp wants to restore full funding to the state’s K-12 and university funding formulas.

The governor is proposing to convert these one-time payments to annual increases and continue funding restorations in the budget year beginning July 1, when he wants to spend more than $30 billion in government revenue.

Republicans are also considering plans to cut state taxes. Republican senators from states vying for higher positions have proposed eliminating Georgia’s income tax altogether. Republican House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge rejected the plan, but said he wanted to make a more gradual tax cut. Kemp said he wanted to work with Ralston on a tax cut.

The state ended the 2021 budget year with a surplus of $2.35 billion, even after the state’s rainy day fund was replenished to the legal limit of $4.3 billion. .

Georgia’s budget pays to educate 1.7 million K-12 and 435,000 college students, house 45,000 state prisoners, pave 18,000 miles (29,000 kilometers) of highways and care more than 200,000 people with mental disorders, developmental disabilities or drug or alcohol addiction .