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Jim GallowayJim Galloway

A quiet beginning to the campaign for a cap on state income tax rate

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Come the November general election, voters will be asked to answer this question:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to prohibit the General Assembly from increasing the maximum state income tax rate?”

The campaign for this proposed constitutional amendment quietly began today, with a press release from the bill’s sponsor, Senate President pro tem David Shafer, listing 17 Georgia economists who have endorsed the measure. They include:

– Paul H. Rubin, Samuel Candler Dobbs professor of economics. Emory University;

– Jeffrey H. Dorfman, professor of agricultural and applied economics, University of Georgia;

– Donald Ratajczak, Regents professor emeritus of economics, Georgia State University;

– W. Ken Farr, chair of the Department of Economics and Finance, Georgia College & State University;

– E. F. Stephenson, professor of economics, chair of the Department of Economics, Berry College;

– Rand W. Ressler, professor of economics, chair of the Department of Finance and Economics, Georgia Southern University;

– Michael Daniels, professor of economics, Columbus State University;

– Govind Hariharan, professor of economics, finance and quantitative analysis, Kennesaw State University;

– Christine P. Ries, professor of economics, Georgia Institute of Technology;

– Donald Sabbarese, professor of economics, finance and quantitative analysis, director of the Econometric Center, Kennesaw State University;

– Tyler T. Yu, associate dean of the School of Business, professor of economics and accounting, Georgia Gwinnett College;

– David B. Mustard, Josiah Meigs distinguished professor of economics, University of Georgia;
– Dwight R. Lee, professor emeritus of economics, University of Georgia;

– Benjamin Scafidi, professor of economics, Georgia College & State University;

– Bill Yang, professor of economics, Georgia Southern University;

– Christopher Clark, associate professor of economics, Georgia College & State University;

– and Brooke Conaway, assistant professor of economics, Georgia College & State University.

Said Shafer, via email:

“The most brilliant economists in the state are validating what we instinctively know to be true — that the certainty of low taxes on income will spur the creation of jobs and help put Georgians back to work.”

Note that there is no mention, on anyone’s part, of replacing the income tax with a sales tax. This is about a cap, and nothing else.

SR 415 won two-thirds approval in the House along a party-line vote, but received a larger margin in the Senate. Some Democrats, but not all, voted for it – but not all. Jason Carter of Atlanta, the Democratic nominee, is recorded as not voting.

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