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Food Tax
Wednesday, 10 March 2010

March 10--  The President ProTem of the Georgia Senate says a food tax may be needed in the long term to help the state improve revenue.

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Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons held a town hall meeting with area educators last week and said the state may form a commission to study reimposing a sales tax on groceries.  He said former Governor Zell Miller lifted the tax as part of a political campaign and later admitted it was the wrong thing to do.  Williams says a tax on food may be part of a solution to help the state's tax system.

"We're looking at a way to expand our sales tax base and lower our income tax.  Part of the problem is the state doesn't charge a tax on food and that's something that everybody buys.  We need to find a way to get that back on food so we can broaden the consumption base," he said.

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Senator Williams also told the educators their salaries make up a third of the state's budget.  "You can't cut the budget without affecting teachers to some extent.  As our revenues continue to fall, we continue to adjust the budget," he warned.

The senator asked educators to give him feedback on state test scores and school accountability.  Some teachers said they can't do in the classroom what parent's don't do at home.  They also recommended a two-track education system in the state starting in the middle school grades to give students the option of a vocational or college prep course of study.  Some teachers also said they have students who will never be able to meet the state's new math standards.

 
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