Georgia taxpayers dodged a substantial bullet this week. We've been following for months now Georgia's GREAT Plan and its various modifications. Originally the "Georgia Repeal of Every Ad Valorem Tax" would have repealed virtually all Georgia property taxes and replaced the lost revenues by expanding the state's sales tax base. The tax fairness and budget implications of such a regressive and costly plan did not sit well with many observers and lawmakers.
The bill's main proponent, House Speaker Glenn Richardson, eventually gave up the fight for the original bill. The bill then morphed into a cluster of property tax proposals including the freezing of assessed property values and capping local property tax revenues. (For more on the specific provisions take a look at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute's fact sheet here). Recently, GBPI's Director Alan Essig had an editorial in the Atlanta Journal Constitution titled, "Have Responsible, Not Reckless, Tax Reform."
It seems that more than a few lawmakers agreed with Essig.In a victory for tax justice advocates, the newer version of the GREAT Plan was defeated in the Georgia House this week by a vote of 110 to 62, ten votes short of the 120 needed to pass.