Georgia lawmakers urge Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to make changes to Georgia fish market
Fulton, Georgia — (AP) As Georgia lawmakers wrestle with a budget shortfall, the governor is asking the Legislature to pass a budget that would reduce taxes on the wealthy and provide a more generous food stamp program.
Nathan D. Deal is trying to balance the state budget and reduce the deficit by at least $3 billion in the coming years, according to his fiscal year 2017 budget.
That would require a $2.5 billion tax cut and other changes to the tax code, according a budget request filed with the state Senate Tuesday.
The governor’s office estimates that by 2023, the state’s income tax will be 12.5 percent, which is higher than it was in 2021.
The state has not seen a significant tax increase in that time.
The proposal would eliminate the estate tax, the top state tax on estates worth more than $10 million.
It would also increase the minimum wage, increase the state sales tax rate and give tax refunds to millions of Georgians who have paid income tax since they were children.
The plan would also reduce the income tax rate on businesses and businesses with more than 100 employees, though the state could still raise taxes on those businesses, which account for more than 40 percent of the state economy.
The budget includes several tax breaks for the wealthy, including the ability to deduct the cost of state and local sales taxes and property taxes, the ability for businesses to deduct a portion of their employee wages and the ability of businesses to write off their share of state sales taxes.
Deal has faced criticism for cutting taxes for the rich.
He has argued that the state is not hurting itself economically.
The state’s budget has been in flux for weeks, and lawmakers were still grappling with the budget’s specifics.
It was also a rare opportunity for lawmakers to address some of the major issues facing the state, such as the state bankruptcy and a massive pension debt.
The Senate voted 23-14 in favor of the budget.
Deal and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, a Republican, are expected to veto the measure.
Deal told the chamber Tuesday that he has the support of several lawmakers and that the budget “does what it needs to do.”
Deal’s request was made in response to the fact that the House of Representatives approved a budget proposal that cut nearly $1 billion from state programs, including unemployment benefits, unemployment compensation, Medicaid and a portion for state employees.
The Senate approved the budget with a 13-7 vote Tuesday.
Deal also requested an additional $1.3 billion from the state for his economic development efforts and a $1,000 bonus for people who have worked part time for the last six months.
The proposed budget would not apply to the state pension, which the Senate voted Tuesday to end.