Georgia House Bill 1023, the JOBS Act, passed the House of Representatives last night by a resounding 154-8 vote. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tom Graves, includes a triggered 50 percent cut in the capital gains tax (the region’s 2nd highest), elimination of the net worth tax, and a variety of tax credits for businesses. It is precisely the type of private sector-led economic growth that will put Georgia on a sustainable path out of the current recession.
Other states have been quick to embrace big government during the economic downturn, bemoaning a fictional revenue problem rather than coming to grips with the failure of frivolous spending. According to ATR’s 2009 State Tax Trends, In 2009 we saw eight states enacted new top income tax rates targeting high-income taxpayers. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia raised taxes on tobacco last year. Eight states raised excise taxes on alcohol, and over the past two years 19 states took the unprecedented step of taxing digital goods. In total, state taxes and fees have risen by $23 billion since 2002. Yet tax hikers continue to cry wolf about the necessity of "revenue enhancements."
The JOBS Act is a refreshing departure from the status quo. The 154 lawmakers who voiced their approval last night stand on the side of taxpayers, job creators, and investors. They understand that states compete for people, for investment, and for jobs, and by cutting taxes Georgia has shored up its comparative economic advantage in the Southeast.
The measure now moves on to the Senate, where it may even be strengthened before it is passed on to Gov. Perdue. I’m told that he will sign when the bill reaches his desk.
For ATR’s letter in support of the JOBS Act, click here.
For ATR’s letter asking House Leadership to allow a vote, click here.
For ATR’s press release applauding last night’s passage, click here.