Tax Bill Passes State Legislature
Wednesday, 14 April 2010

April 14--  On the eve of national tax day, the Georgia General Assembly has passed major tax relief, HB 1055 called by some the “Georgia Taxpayer Relief Act of 2010”. The measure eliminates retirement income tax on Georgia seniors and eliminates the state property tax. Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) lead the efforts in the Senate to help add the tax elimination measures to HB 1055. 

“This was a great day for Georgia as the General Assembly has moved to completely eliminate two separate taxes. The elimination of the state property tax is a true tax cut for every Georgian who owns property or a vehicle. We coupled this with the elimination of retirement income tax on Georgia senior citizens,” said Rogers.  “Georgians need a financial break during these tough economic times. The General Assembly delivered real relief today by actually eliminating two forms of taxation. It was a good day for Georgia.”

The Act eliminates by phase-out the taxes on senior retirement income and the state property tax. Once fully enacted the tax cut is expected to be more than $250 Million per year.

Another major component of the act reduces taxpayer subsidizing services for others by adjusting outdated and antiquated state fees and fines.  When a fee does not cover the cost of the service provided, Georgia taxpayers subsidize the activities of specific individuals or businesses by paying the remaining cost.  By addressing this issue now, users will rightfully pay the bulk of the cost of services provided. 

Finally, at the request of every hospital in Georgia the Act creates a 1.45 percent hospital fee to fund the state Indigent Care Trust Fund. This funding formula is phased-out in three years. All funds raised from hospitals will go straight into the Indigent Care Trust Fund, which will be used to provide medical care for Georgia’s children and the poor. No revenue from the hospital fee will go into the state General Fund.  The requested fee fund is expected to prevent major cuts to Medicaid funding and help keep open at least thirty Georgia hospitals that were rumored to close without additional funding.   

Overall, the Georgia Taxpayer Relief Act of 2010 will provide relief for almost every taxpayer in Georgia while making significant progress in alleviating the state budget crisis.  For more information on the Act and other legislation, go to www.senate.ga.gov


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